Thursday 21 October 2010

Bible Book:
Ephesians

"I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ." (v.18-19)

Ephesians 3:14-21 Thursday 21 October 2010

Background

In writing today's passage, Paul has been led to a state ofworship and prayer - "I bow my knees ... I pray that..." This isbecause, as he is explaining to the readers of this letter, hebelieves his ministry to be an outworking of the mystery ofGod.

The way in which Paul acknowledged God in worship has risendirectly out of his belief that God is the god of both Jews andGentiles (non-Jews) alike. There is a perfect match between whatPaul has said he believed about God and how he then came to worshipGod - the god of all people. Likewise, there was a similar matchbetween what Paul has been saying about Christ and how heprayed.

It is in Christ that Paul has discovered the love of God and thisled him to pray that his readers too might come to know thefullness of God's love. For Paul, love was the crown of being inChrist. It began with knowing Christ's love and resulted in a life"rooted and grounded in love". This rooting and grounding in lovewas not merely a superior human characteristic, or an attitude tobe cultivated through one's character; it was possible only throughthe 'indwelling' of Christ.

In speaking about God's work in human lives in this way, Paul usedwhat might later be recognised as 'trinitarian' language: he bowedbefore the Father; the power for living came through the Spirit;and Christ dwelt in his heart. This passage is a good illustrationof how the Church gradually began to express its experience andunderstanding of God in trinitarian terms. It was a process whichtook centuries to complete, in formal, agreed language, but itsseeds are to be found here in the experience and thinking of Paulas he struggled to find new ways to express a new experience ofGod. It was fresh experience which led to fresh theology.

To Ponder

Do you struggle to find adequate ways to put intowords your experience of God? What do you find helps?

To what exent is the trinitarian language ofFather, Son and Spirit an adequate tool for you to express yourexperience of God?

What contemporary examples come to mind when youhear the words about the breadth and length and height and depth ofthe love of God?

How do you imagine your life might be filled withall the fullness of God?

Previous Page Wednesday 20 October 2010
Next Page Friday 22 October 2010