Personal thoughts from John on Ephesians 4:1-16

John at Scone

What struck me particularly in Ephesians 4 was the comment in verse 10 that Jesus will fill ‘the whole universe.’ This relates to 1:9, 10, which speaks of ‘the mystery of [God’s] will’,  ‘to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.’ There a big vision here – a vision of Christ, being present in, and uniting the whole of the cosmos.

This is the immensity of our hope as Christians. God is at work drawing the entire creation into the unity of Father, Son, and Spirit, and our faltering unity as individual Christians reflects that great, coming unity.  This is inspirational – sometimes as Christians we’ve focussed on ‘personal salvation’, or of God rescuing God’s people from a doomed universe. In fact the divine plan is to reconcile the whole  of creation with the Trinity in what’s been called ‘The divine dance.’

Duncan’s quote from Eugene Peterson was helpful. Sometimes we look at our lives, and our world, and we see God as present and active in some aspects but not in others. Petersen reminds us that God is involved in the whole of live. God rejoices in the universe’s joys; God suffers on the cross of the universe’s evil; God weeps the universes tears; always, always God is whispering, prompting, encouraging, empowering us towards love and unity, wholeness and freedom.

We are invited, not just in church relationships but in the whole of life, in all our relationships, all our words, all our actions, to be agents of this unity.

And I think there’s a lesson for our inner lives as well. So often we feel torn and conflicted, and we long for a sense of wholeness, integration, while we fight against the shadow stuff in us. Yet God accepts us as we are. We find freedom when we realise that we can come to God with our imperfections, come both with our shadow and light, and find ourselves accepted and loved, and set free, as we wait for the day of unity when all will be one in Christ.

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