“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself (προέθετο ἐν αὐτῷ), that for the dispensation (εἰς οἰκονομίαν) of the fullness of the times he might gather together in one all things in Christ (ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι τὰ πάντα ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, that all things might be headed in Christ), both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in him.” (Eph 1: 7-10)
What a complicated passage, even more complicated in English translation. But there is a profoundly simple message here, which even I can take away this morning.
Here St. Paul is telling me what the “whole point” is, of our Lord Jesus Christ becoming flesh; of sharing with us His word, of taking upon Himself all our visible and invisible darkness, even unto death on the Cross and descent into our hell, and of overcoming it in His life-creating Self, “according to the riches of His grace.” The “whole point” of all that is unity, made possible in Him. We are fragmented, again and again, both visibly and invisibly, both between one another and within ourselves, because of our split loyalties and purposes, to both good and evil.
But Christ comes into our lives, again and again, to restore our oneness of loyalty and purpose, in and through communion with Him. In Himself, in His perfectly-divine and perfectly-human Person, Christ gives me 1.) The Source of Good, as God, and 2.) The Way of overcoming the bad, as cross-carrying Man. Today, once again, let me clear away any confusion, as to Who my true Employer is, and choose His way of approaching the small challenges and decisions at hand, replacing resentment with letting it go, fear with faith, and self-pity with self-acceptance and gratitude. “Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace!”