Let us praise God, who chose us and marked us as his children even before we were born.
I thank God for your faith. I pray that you may continue to know God and God’s will, and that you may come to know the power of God at work in your life.
We were separated from God, wandering about and following the course of this world. We listened to what those around us said and succumbed to our base impulses and instincts. We weren’t happy. But our God is rich in mercy, and made us alive in Christ. We have been shown enormous kindness by God in our lives. God has given us the gift of grace and mercy.
Let us remember this, how we were once separated from God’s love. We were walking in darkness and had no hope. But this strange faith, from an ancient and faraway people in Israel, was opened up to the world and given to us. We have been brought into God’s great drama of love and redemption for the world in Christ. Can you believe that?
Christ is our peace. God’s love in Christ melts away the hostilities we once had for one another and brings us together in peace. What was once two is now one. God’s love in Christ enables our dividing walls to be broken down. We may see each other as strangers and aliens, but now in God’s love we can become one. We are woven together by the love of God in Christ.
This is why I pour out all of myself into this ministry with you: I have experienced this wonderful, life-transforming grace and love that melted away my own bitterness, anger and disillusionment. Somehow, I can’t believe how God called me for this wonderful work – me who is least deserving of it. But through God’s grace, I am called to share and lead others into this real, amazing new life in God’s love.
I pray that this love may dwell in your heart too, and that you may come to understand the depths of this great love that God has for you and this world.
For those of us who know this love, let us lead a life worthy of this new life to which we are called. Let us be humble and gentle with one another. Let us have patience and bear with one another in love (especially our weakness), and let us make every effort to maintain unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith – all given by our loving God.
We have each been given our gifts to contribute to the peace of this world. Let us use them to build a community and world of peace. Let us not be like children, swayed easily by other opinions, drawn by crafty rhetoric. Let us speak the truth in love and build each other up in love.
We must no longer live as we used to. That was a dark and ignorant existence. We were simply reactive and following the whims of our desires. We are called for something different! Let us put that old way behind us and be renewed in the spirit of our minds and build up new selves in the likeness of God.
Let us learn to serve one another in love, instead of seeking dominance over the other. To do this, we must be strong in God’s love and power. Let us not be naive about the powers of this world. We are too weak to withstand it on our own. There are truly dark forces we must contend with in this world. Let us take up the armour of God to withstand the onslaught of division, acrimony, hate and malicious judgment. Let us be beholden to truth, right living and words of peace.
Let us pray at all times and bring our cries to God. Please pray for me and the pastoral staff as well, as we constantly seek to discern God’s will and equip God’s people.
Peace be with you and the whole community during these unsettling and unpeaceful times. Grace be with you, you who has an undying love for Christ.
Does this letter sound familiar at all? It’s my own wording to you of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians (read of it on your own if you have time!)
We are a spiritual community rooted in God’s Word. The truth of God’s Word is ever needed in a world plagued by division, animosity and expedience. Let us commit ourselves to deepening our faith and spirituality rooted in God’s truth.