Today I met Copas and Jonathan for lunch. We met to discuss the book of Ephesians and how we might study it together. We hope to present our ideas to the church the next time we gather (tomorrow).
Our desire to study Ephesians comes from two main convictions:
God's Spirit moves in power through the Scriptures.
The Spirit's power through the Scriptures is vital for our health as individuals and as a church.
All three of us were excited as we talked about Ephesians and the overall purposes of God set forth in the Scriptural narrative. I believe our times together when the Scriptures take center stage will invigorate our minds and hearts and push us further in our quest to be like Jesus.
Right or wrong, I will not hide the fact that I am sobered by the practical difficulties we may face in this endeavor. Of course, most of us have young children and more (no less than three!) are on the way in rather short order. We will therefore need to be creative, flexible, and disciplined (all at once!) in our time together in the Scriptures. By no means do I want our time together to boil down to a sterile "Bible Study," or a dogged march through a bit of dry theology. Neither do I want to continue gathering without making explicit and consistent use of the Scriptures. As is true with any Kingdom effort, this will only succeed as each of us lays down our lives for the others.
Practically speaking, I envision our time in the Scriptures together being facilitated by one of the men who has studied and prepared specifically for that time. I do not envision a "sermon," but rather a dialogue between everyone - a mutual exploration of the text informed by personal study and enhanced by the contribution the other participants.
I am hopeful we can move forward together, and I fully expect to have our friendships deepened and our love for God and man enriched.
I would love to hear your thoughts.