It Is Just the Beginning
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. – Ephesians 1:17-19 (NRSV)
When I was a small child growing up in a tradition that doesn’t ordain women, in my young mind I figured that the best I could do was to be a good person. Little did I know that being a good person was just the beginning of the journey of saying yes to Jesus.
I learned about the power of God that would not let me be in the presence of oppression and injustice, and the hope and light I was called to share and experience through the journey. I am still learning to trust the wisdom and revelation that has been given to me. Gratitude is my daily prayer.
I feel like that is what Paul is saying to the very young church in Ephesus: your love towards each other is just the beginning of the journey of saying yes to Jesus. The power of God is calling you to expand this love into works of hope and power, in a world that won’t always love you back. Pray for wisdom and clarity. Learn from the journey, and trust God’s call.
Paul’s message is relevant to churches today, too. What lessons have we learned during this Covid-19/1619 journey about what it means to be church? The desire to be back together in person is just the beginning. What has been revealed to us about what we were missing? What plans do we have in exercising our reclaimed power as a collective? How are we going to show up as hope and light, anew? What is God calling us to next?
God of new beginnings, thank you for your Spirit that won’t let us be content until all are free and all know your love. Amen.
Marilyn Pagán-Banks (she/her/ella) is a queer womanist freedom fighter gratefully (though not always gracefully) serving as executive director of A Just Harvest, Senior Pastor at San Lucas UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. She is a joyful contributor to The Words of Her Mouth.