Ephesians 3

We often pray that God would be glorified, we seldom realize that God’s glory may come at the expense of our comfort.
In Ephesians 3, we see that Paul is writing from prison. I dare say that this was not his ideal work environment. In fact, Paul probably had a much different plan and desire for his life.
We would very rarely choose hardship if the choice was ours, even then it would have to be extraordinary circumstances. Yet, here, in Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, he is modeling what it means to surrender all for the sake of Christ.
Paul sees the value of the mystery of Christ and lays down his life for the spread of this message.
The work of God was bigger than the life of Paul. For Paul, the story God was/is telling is far bigger than his personal story.
As humans we thrive on stories. From the earliest of times we passed on knowledge via oral tradition. We love a good story. They have the power to make us happy or move us to tears.
Paul urges the Ephesians to see the whole of his story. He urges them in verse 13 not to lose heart at the suffering that is part of his story. We so often desire to change the stories of those in our lives. We would erase the pain and remove the suffering. We long for stories of heaven while living the stories of a fallen earth.
Paul prays once again for the Ephesians in verses 14 – 21.
In his prayer he urges them to look beyond, beyond their desires, beyond their imaginations.
We often feel that we can write a pretty good story. However, our stories are limited by our brokenness and abilities. In Christ our story is not limited to our brokenness but is enhanced by the all surpassing power of God. The story of our lives or those that we love may involve tragedy, but in Christ, our story is about the redemption of the world.
Christ is able to do far beyond what we ask or imagine. He is at work within us when we feel that all is falling apart. He is with us, whether we are in the church pew or the jail cell. He is glorified in the midst of our brokenness and suffering.
The story of the church is the story of brokenness through the centuries. Yet, it is also the story of hope, redemption, beauty and grace. We are part of that story just as Paul was, and just like Paul, our story is not limited to us. God is at work and He is doing far beyond what we could ever ask or dream.
May we surrender to the story that is bigger than our lives. May we love and serve those who are suffering. May the beauty of Christ show through the brokenness of our world.
Grace and Peace,

Collegiate Abbey

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