Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of the 6th Week of Easter: Year 2
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:7 – 10)
These are the opening words to the Church in Ephesus by Paul or someone writing for Paul. The writer, through revelation from God, shares with us that the forgiveness of our sins has been God’s plan from the beginning of our time, to be made manifest in the fullness of our time. This is free grace that is lavished on us from God through the blood (or life) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of whom we partake of at our Holy Communion.
As adopted children of God through our brother Jesus, we are called to continue in the work of gathering all things (all people) to God. I look at us Christians as the care takers of the world, both people and all creation. Hints from Genesis suggest that after the world was made the caretaker creatures (we) were placed onboard to maintain this place. We are the caretakers. “With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will.”
Our own human selves are not excluded from our own care. Just as charity begins in the home, so too does human self-care. Among the human species, the Christian is like unto a flight attendant. Flight attendants serve to make the passengers safe and comfortable while on their journey. Flight attendants are not recruiting more flight attendants. We Christians also are here to serve all people, Christian and non-Christian alike, while not trying to make all people Christian. “With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us [Christians] the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things [all people] in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” This is what I believe the Spirit of God told the writer of the letter to the Church in Ephesus, and this is what I believe the Spirit is still saying to us today.
As we assist people on their way to God let us not leave out the people of Ukraine. Also, let us not leave out members of the Russian military who don’t always know any better. “All people to God” really means all people to God. We are not called to judge, but to love, and we do this by listening and learning in order that we might love and lead. “With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will:” that is “to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John