“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.” (Ephesians 3:14 – 15)
I had thought to investigate the “reason” that Paul bows his knees before the Divine, but the rationale is so back in the opening letter to the Ephesians that I cannot discern it. I suspect that it is that the believers in Ephesus would not be so overwhelmed by the magnitude of work and that amount of persecution that Paul under went that they would discard and disregard their faith. It is, I personally believe, a little of bit of hubris on Paul’s part.
But let us focus on the second verse, where Paul says the family of believers takes their identification from the Divine. In other places Paul has made much of the fact that all believers are a family and are gathered under the Divine. I have also made much of the fact that all who believe in the Divine are one family; and unified under the Divine we should be at peace and harmony with each other.
“I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.” (Verses 16 – 17)
It is a nice image that came to the forefront of my thoughts that Paul would pray over and for each group that he has led to faith. I remember a time in my faith journey that I prayed over and for various groups of people. It was a good experience, and I felt honored to be called to it. That calling changed into the desire to write to/for others on issues of faith & spirituality, and the intersection of the faith life & daily living. So while I may not pray over each of you individually, beloved reader, never doubt that my thoughts while writing turns to praying for those who read my words.
“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 that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Verses 18 – 19)
Quite often the prayers that Paul offers up are the same type of prayers I have and continue to offer up. Paul directed his letters to specific and particular groups who were going through issues in their faith life. His writings contain a good deal of teaching and exhortation that is specific to the group and situation addressed. That often it applies to us in our modern time is an indication that the faith life is a constant in humanity. It also means that if our modern lives are not conforming to the faith practices that Paul points out, we should consider carefully whether we are going astray; whether we can learn from the past as to what pitfalls that we can & should avoid; or whether it is an instance that does not apply to us. I pray that the Holy Presence will guide you in this.
“Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Verses 20 – 21)
Shalom & Selah, Paul, Shalom & Selah!