Be still and rest in the Lord.
Ephesians 3:1-13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 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. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory.
This is a lengthy passage for a short devotional, but it’s one worth examining. Although there are many different ideas we could focus on I want us to think about verse 10 in particular. Notice what Paul says about the Church in this verse – “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.”
In other words, our text says that the Church is the vehicle for carrying God’s wisdom. God’s wisdom here is referred to as the mystery that God would reconcile in Christ both Jews and Gentiles (two groups that were once at enmity with one another according to Eph. 2:14-18) as one unified people.
So, what does this all mean? Think about your own local church where you hear the word of God preached and partake of the sacraments week after week. Does your church reflect the unity that God intends for His people to live in? Are people divided into cliques and classes on the basis of race, political affiliation, income, or age? Or is everyone in your church united in their efforts to live out the Gospel of reconciliation? If your church seems to be divided over these issues, what can you do to help with bridging the gap so that your church can be a vehicle that God uses to carry His wisdom?
Almighty and Everlasting God, the unity that You provide is a gift to us because we live in a divided world that is broken by sin. Although You, O God, are three persons You are also perfectly unified and although this is a mystery to us, You fully intend for Your people to reflect the unity that exists between You, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today, I ask that You would empower Your people to strive towards the unity that is only found in Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.
Go with God!