Ephesians 1:3-20, 3:14-21
Theme: Praise God for His Gifts of faith, hope, and love.
A. The Name
1. Today is a Communion service
i. That is what most around here call it
ii. Some of you may come from a tradition where it is called the Eucharist
iii. Eucharist is the name used by Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, and some Methodists and Lutherans
2. Does anyone know what Eucharist means? Thanksgiving
3. Why this name?
i. The accounts of Jesus’ meal with his disciples speak of Jesus giving thanks
ii. The early liturgies began with a prayer of thanksgiving
B. Thanksgiving is a response
1. Thanksgiving is a response to a gift
2. It is the appropriate way to receive a gift
C. Ephesians chapters 1 and 3 will guide our Eucharist this morning
1. Paul begins with helping us respond to God’s gift
2. Ephesians 1:3-14
I. Praise the Giving God (1:3-14)
A. God Gives a New Relationship (v. 3-8)
1. God has brought us back into his family
2. The relationship with humanity God planned from the beginning he has restored in Jesus
3. In Jesus he has given us forgiveness to restore us
4. God is rich and abundant in his giving
5. We praise God, not in fear, but in thanksgiving, in response to his giving
6. Communion is a celebration of this new relationship with God
B. God Gives a New Revelation (v. 9-14)
1. In Jesus God shows his goal of a restored creation
2. God’s goal is to not only bring people to himself, but also back to each other
3. The church is the begin of this reconciliation of all
4. We are a part of this process
5. Communion is an expression of this beginning among us
II. Pray to Give Hope (1:15-20)
A. Prayer for God’s People (v. 15-16)
1. From praise Paul turns to prayer—Ephesians 1:15-20
2. The prayer is for God’s people
a) For those who believe
b) For those who seek to love each other
3. Paul gives thanks for these fellow belivers
4. His prayer is an act of love and encouragement, a prayer to give hope
B. Prayer for God’s Power (v. 17-20)
1. Paul prays that God will give growing experience of Himself
a. That they will grow in wisdom
b. That they will grow in seeing God’s revelation
2. Communion is to help us grow in experiencing God
3. Paul prays that God will give a perception of rich, abundant hope
a) Hope is hard to grasp
b) It must be seen with the eyes of the heart
c) Communion is to help us see hope
d) It is a taste of the future
4. But it is founded on the past, founded on the power of God in Christ
a. It is the power of resurrection
b. It is the power of victory
5. Jesus meets us at this meal because he is the resurrected and ascended Lord
c. This is a victory meal
d. This is a celebration
e. This is a taste of hope
Let us enter into prayer for each other. Let us pray that we may grow in faith, hope, and love.
Prayer for the Work of the Spirit
Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that
this bread and cup may be for us the body and
blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we and all
your saints be united with Christ and remain
faithful in hope and love.
Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the
glory of your kingdom.
Preparing the Bread and Cup
[breaking the bread] The bread that we break is a
sharing in the body of Christ.
[pouring the cup] The cup for which we give
thanks is a sharing in the blood of Christ.
Congregation of Jesus Christ, the Lord has
prepared his table for all who love him and
trust in him alone for their salvation.
All who are truly sorry for their sins, who
sincerely believe in the Lord Jesus as their
Savior, and who desire to live in obedience to
him as Lord are now invited to come with
gladness to the table of the Lord.
The gifts of God for the people of God.
Take, eat and drink, remember that the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ was given for the complete forgiveness of all our sins.
Loving God, we thank you that you have fed
us in this sacrament, united us with Christ, and
given us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet in
your eternal kingdom.
Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live
and work to your praise and glory for the sake
of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
III. Practice Growing Love (3:14-19)
A. Prayer for God’s Presence (3:14-17a)
1. May you go and grow with this food
2. This prayer of Paul for the Ephesians is also our prayer—3:14-17a
3. May you be strengthened in faith
4. May Christ dwell in your life more and more
B. Prayer for God’s Power (3:17b-19)
1. Out of this experience of the grace of God may you go out in God’s power—3:17b-19
2. A power to live beyond reason
f. A power to hope
g. A power to love
h. A power to live new
i. A power to change the world
Conclusion: “The Impossible Dream”
A. Do you know or remember this song?
1. Play “The Impossible Dream”
2. It is from “The Man of La Mancha”
a. It is Don Quixote
b. It is to challenge the world’s realities
B. Go out in this new reality
1. God is a giving God
2. God has given us hope in Jesus Christ
3. God is changing the world in and through us
C. Ephesians 3:20-21