You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (Eph. 2: 1-10).
The recipients of Paul’s letter have experienced in their redemption from sin, the effect of Christ’s supremacy over the power of the evil and the devil, who rules not from the netherworld but interposes himself between Gods and humans. Both Jews and Gentiles have experienced, through Christ, God’s free gift of salvation that already marks them for a future heavenly destiny, and the language Paul uses here parallels Jesus’ own passion and Easter experience. This section describes salvation in the way Paul, in Galatians and Romans, speaks of justification: by grace, through faith, the gift of God, not from works. Christians, you and I, are a newly created people in Christ, fashioned by God for a life of goodness.
Let us pray: Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Please pray for the Family of Robert Hacker whose mother died this morning. Let us pray: Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Mary. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.
17 January 2013: Seaside Seniors at St. Augustine.
21 January 2013: MLK Day at St. Vincent’s House: Noon day prayers and celebration.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially, Lee Runion and Randy Furlong.
Your servant in Christ,
The Rev. Chester J. Makowski+St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550