Ephesians 1:15-23
   This reading from Ephesians is paired with the ascension readings because of vs. 20, "seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places".  For Paul, however, the verse has less to do with the ascension and more to do with the authority of Jesus as the Christ.  The section begins by describing how "his glorious inheritance among the saints" is obtained in Christ by all who set their hope on Christ.  How do we get "into" Christ?  Through hearing "the word of truth/the gospel of your salvation" and believing.  Once we are "in Christ", we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  This is made evident by the fruits of faith and love shown "toward all the saints".  Paul then prays that God's sanctifying grace will deepen that faith and love "with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you".  This grace was begun when Christ was raise and continues in all who follow.  This grace eventually leads all the saints to Christ who fills all in all.
 

   Ephesians 1:18 "with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope"
       What are the eyes of your heart?
       Could it be seeing others through the loving eyes of God?
       How does compassion change the way you view people and situations?
       Can love and hopelessness co-exist?
       Does compassion lead to hope?  How does having the Holy Spirit affect this?