By Michael Fitzpatrick
A Reading from Ephesians 1:15-23
15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Sometimes St. Paul simply foregoes punctuation in his ecstatic proclamations about all that God has done for us in Christ. In today’s reading his prayer is that each of us would have the eyes of our heart opened wide to see the gifts of God’s love for us. What are these gifts?
First, we have the hope that comes from an inheritance too glorious to imagine. As adopted children of the living God, there is no depth to which we can fall that is far enough to lose God’s welcome. It is a hope to which God has called us, not one we have earned and therefore not one we can lose. We are his forever.
Second, we live our lives and act from an “immeasurable power.” The power of God was able to raise Jesus from the dead, and this same power transforms our lives in fellowship with Christ. No longer do we have to face the battles of each day alone, striving under our own effort to find some small victory in a sea of despair. The power which brought forth the universe, which raises the dead, which makes all things new, is the lifeblood that beats within our hearts.
Lastly, we trust in a savior who sits at God’s right hand. Jesus is given authority over every created power, a name above every name. God’s promises stand not just in our present circumstances, for Jesus’ authority persists into every age to come, so that all things might be rightly ordered before him who loves the world enough to die for it. We need not fear earthly powers, those that can destroy the body, for we are held as a mother holds her newborn in the arms of the one to whom all earthly principalities must answer.
Michael Fitzpatrick is a doctoral student in philosophy at Stanford University. He attends St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, Calif., where he serves as a lay preacher and teacher.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
Diocese of Saskatchewan (Canada), the Rt. Rev. Michael William Hawkins
Diocese of East Ruwenzori (Uganda), the Rt. Rev. George Turyasingura
Diocese of East Tennessee, the Rt. Rev. Brian Lee Cole
Diocese of Oklahoma, the Rt. Rev. Poulson Reed