March 14, 2012

Staying Connected • Ephesians 6:21-24

So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts. (Ephesians 6:21-22)

Paul sends word of his current situation (and probably the Ephesian letter as well) by a common friend, Tychicus. Paul sends this friend to encourage their hearts. In the ancient world, the heart was not thought to be the center of emotions but of the will. From the heart one determined who he was and how he lived his life. Paul wants to encourage his readers in the living of their lives. This is about more than sentimentalism. Paul, even though he was in prison, continued to maintain communion with his brothers and sisters in Ephesus through the mediation of his beloved friend and co-laborer Tychicus. By this bond, the Ephesian believers can serve and love Paul, and he in turn can serve and encourage them.

Neither Paul, nor Tychicus, nor the brothers and sisters in Ephesus allowed a difficult situation to break their communion. They did what was necessary to continue loving and serving one another. I wonder how this effort compares with the efforts most of us make to maintain a close and genuine communion with one another in our congregation. How easily we drift away from others, pursuing our own dreams and projects. How easily we withdraw our families from the broader fellowship of the family of Christ. It is easy to think of the congregation, of the church, as being there simply to help me when I need something. They are there to visit me when I am sick, to pray for me when I am in trouble, to entertain me with music and a sermon on Sunday morning, to love on me whenever I decide to show up. But how fiercely do I guard that communion with fellow believers? How hard do I strive to remain closely connected to others in the Body of Christ? How much of my life is geared toward serving and loving my brothers and sisters at church?

I will be preaching from Ephesians 6:21-24 in our service this coming Sunday, February 19, 2012. This message will conclude our Series: God's Plan for Our Families. Worship begins at 10:45 am. Come and join us, 3201 W 15th St. Plano, TX 75075. Video and audio of the sermon is posted during the week at our website: To access the messages directly, click here.

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