The Passionate Bride:
The Church in Ephesians

Alan & Elizabeth Davey (Wipf & Stock, 2019)

The Passionate Bride: The Church in Ephesians

Alan & Elizabeth Davey (Wipf & Stock, 2019)

St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is a bold declaration of love. We were in the ruminations of Abba before the stardust formed into galaxies or the earth coalesced into its present shape. Indeed, Abba’s dream for his people already existed in those primordial days. Today we have the opportunity to wake up and embrace his dream with enthusiasm and intentionality. As members of His church, individually and collectively, we want to embrace God’s desire for a dynamic people infused with his passionate love.

The church as the bride of Christ is a powerful metaphor engaging the apostle as he writes his letter. Paul’s passion becomes ours as we meditate on his words evoking spiritual desire. It is in this relationship of love that the central purpose of our lives is found. As we gratefully receive Christ’s amity, and as his bride return it, so the entire earth is enflamed with the fires of his love.

At the same time, we recognize it is a mystery—this love between Abba and His church. When we receive and reflect Christ’s overtures of love as a community of faith, a synergy is created and released through the interconnectedness of our gifts, talents, and zeal. The church contains the spiritual energy of a nuclear explosion, and when it detonates, it releases a fallout of love, mercy, and compassion, bringing healing to the world and drawing others to the divine presence.

“St. Cyprian said that those who did not have the church as their mother could hardly have God as their father. The church, after all, was already the fourth ‘I believe’ in the primitive Creed, after the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But the Daveys plunge us further back, into the Ephesian letter of St. Paul, probing his deep and rich metaphors for the church and pointing us back to what we have been losing: not ‘fresh expressions’ or organizations or institutions or consultants—but the local church. Entirely refreshing!”
⸺ Paul Friesen, St. Paul’s Church, Halifax, and Atlantic School of Theology

“Alan and Elizabeth invite us on a joyful journey to listen to the music of Paul’s ancient letter for shaping our lives in the community of faith. There’s mystery, contemplation, and wisdom in gentle abundance.”
⸺ Norm Allen, Touchstone Ministries, Toronto Area

“Reading The Passionate Bride is a richly rewarding way to hear Ephesians again, as if for the very first time. As one familiar from multiple readings of this text, Alan and Elizabeth surprise me as they creatively mine the bride metaphor. Challenged, encouraged and then lifted in faith, they give energy to the text and hope to the reader. For example, we are told that ‘If we are feeling overwhelmed, it is an indication that we are either adding extraneous dimensions to our calling or are drifting away from what is essential.’ Their style of mixing personal stories with insights from great literary and life-serving people gives texture to the biblical material, always with grace, pointing us to the Lord Jesus, in whom we are ‘rooted and established in love.’”
⸺ Brian C. Stiller, Global Ambassador, The World Evangelical Alliance