While taking a couple of religious studies courses at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies, I was introduced to some of the controversies surrounding biblical authorship. It surprised me to hear that many biblical scholars don’t believe that Paul wrote all of the letters attributed to him. Some say that Ephesians, and some other letters, too, were penned by Paul’s followers rather than by Paul of Tarsus himself.
Be this as it may, aren’t verses 15 and 16 a wonderful start to a pastoral prayer? Whether Paul or one of his followers did the writing, the writer begins with what the Ephesians are doing right. Though the author uses most of the rest of the letter to review the principles of Christianity and comment on proper behaviour, he begins by commending the Ephesians for having the essentials right. They are part of the Christian community, not because they have a perfect understanding of Christian theology, but because of their faith in God and their love for their spiritual brothers and sisters.
Lord, help us to focus on what really matters-having faith in you and loving our neighbours. Amen. — CKA