devotion 10-28-15

Ephesians 1.15-23

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

The greeting, and what seems to be a hymn, is followed by a prayer for those receiving the letter. Their faith in the Lord Jesus is known, as is their love towards other believers. (All believers were called saints, not just especially holy people.) The author gives thanks for them as they are remembered in prayer. (This does sound very much like Paul! All of his letters include a prayer for the recipients.) The prayer is that God, the Father, will give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation as they come to know him, that the eyes of their hearts will be opened, and they may know the hope to which he has called them. This is a beautiful prayer – and one that I would pray for you even today – that you might be given a spirit of wisdom and revelation, opening the eyes of your hearts, as you build your relationship with God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, the Son.

Moreover, in that knowledge, the prayer goes on, there is hope – the author prays that the readers may know this hope, that hope to which God calls us, all of us, and the glorious riches of his inheritance. He speaks now, not of human or earthly wealth – keep in mind the cosmic nature of the letter – he speaks of riches and inheritance among the saints, this is the wealth we call love. Furthermore, he speaks here of the power of God, given to us who believe – he has the power to give power to his followers. We know God’s power, for we have seen it at work in Jesus, in his resurrection. And now, Jesus is seated with God, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and above every name, in this world or the next! The first century was a time of superstition – there were many “powers” that threatened the existence of human beings! But God is above all those powers, as well as any powers that may threaten us today – be they political, or physical, or military, or addictions, or violence, or simply evil. In our time people turn to make believe evils, like zombies, that they can control, in their fear of being lost to the evils that we cannot control. But God has power over all of them!

Jesus is Lord – all things are under his dominion. He is head of the Church, which is his body. As the Body of Christ, the Church is called to follow him as Lord, and to do his will in the time and place in which it exists, as a part of the greater church which is the fullness of Christ’s being across time and space! And in the church his fullness may dwell – the fullness of him who is all in all.

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