Saturday 07 January 2017

Bible Book:

“So that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (v. 10)

Ephesians 3:1-12 Saturday 7 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 100


Being 'in the know' is a beguiling thing, as you have the insidetrack on something that other people don't have, or 'get something'that other people find elusive. These are tantalising things andperhaps even more so in the time of Paul: the hidden mystery ofreligious groups; the philosophical insights and sophistication ofvenerable teachers. You see this in the way the John writes in hisGospel (written in Ephesus), the 'Word' that becomes flesh (John1:1-18). Paul is writing to people who are intrigued by suchmystery and he entices them with a deeper mystery than they haveyet known. Such mystery is something that must be revealed, whichhas been withheld until now.

The mystery is, however, not some complicated formulation ofwords or a hard-to-grasp insight into 'life the universe andeverything'. It is a person, someone who has made possible for theGentiles as well as the Jews, a new relationship with God. Paul maywell talk about deep mystery, heavenly places and an eternalpurpose, but this hidden truth is a person who unites all into onenew body. From mystery as a matter of philosophical reflection orhidden cultic knowledge, we are to be "fellow heirs, members of thesame body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus" (v. 6). Therevelation is far more than insights into a mystery, it is 'accessto God' and 'in relationship to each other'.

The difference between something that is just interesting orbeguiling, and the mystery that Christ reveals is underlined byPaul at the start of the passage (verse 1). He is writing from aplace of fear and suffering. This is no casual fascination, it islife and death and it gives to Paul, "boldness and confidencethrough faith in him" (v. 12).

To Ponder

  • What insights into God's glory have you seen over the Christmasperiod this year?
  • How does the Church reveal the mystery of God to others? Whatelse might the Church do to assist this?
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