Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Curious Mystery of the Living Stone

Ephesians 3.1-13

3 This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3 and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4 a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5 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: 6 that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 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. 8 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, 9 and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 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. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. 13 I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory.

What struck and stuck with my about praying through Ephesians 3.1-13 was the word mystery. We see mystery in two ways. The more common way is seeing as a problem to be solved like the who-done-it murder mystery novels of Agatha Christie. We evaluate the evidence and then find our solution. Of course this is not what Paul means when he talks about the Mystery of Christ. Such a mystery is about coming to our limits of knowing in the midst of a truth. I know my wife loves me as I love her, and the mystery of our love comes in the day to day interactions. The mystery appears when we love of our son. The mystery appears when we have to make a choice about what to do as we will soon have to for his tumor condition. Yet is not the mystery that demands solution, rather the mystery of facing our limitations meet the deep love in which God has granted us. It the mystery of love that meets us.

Love always brings a gift of mystery. When we first met, I would wonder what Lace my wife was doing when we were apart. I still do. The mystery of love infuses life and it changes the tinge of the color of life. When we are in love, we operate on a sense of high about the future and past. In the Mystery of Christ, this same sense of love makes us view everything in the sense of mystery and curiosity. We are constantly encountering the limits of our knowledge and meeting with a sense of wonder. When we love, the world opens out like it does to a new born or toddler. We can learn all sorts of new things because the well we dip our bucket is filled with living water.

I don’t know what will happen with our son and his future, but I know love, the love of his parents, and the love of God will always be with us. How? That is where faith and mystery meet and where the temple of God rising by being built one living stone at a time.

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