Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Fifth Sunday after Easter - May 13, 2012
Photo by Mai Hariu-Powell
Fifth Sunday after Easter - May 13, 2012
These devotionals are to help you prepare for the Sunday
to come in the Christian calendar.*
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far 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 one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:15-23 (ESV)
In this first chapter of Ephesians, Paul’s prayer is for spiritual power, filled with words like “immeasurable greatness”, “power”, and “working of his great might.” Yet his prayer is not for an amassing of power as we might ordinarily conceive of it. It is a prayer that our hearts understand the power of God that has been exercised for us and toward us. It is a plea that we be empowered by an awareness of God’s power, which is put into action for us.
Paul’s description of God’s power is breathtaking. It is the power to resurrect the Son of God Himself. It has overcome death and raised Jesus to a place of preeminence, eclipsing the might of any other rule, authority, dominion, or name, in this age and in the coming age. In other words, God’s power has cosmic supremacy over everything conceivable.
And what Paul pleads for here is not simply that we be informed about God’s power to resurrect, but rather that we experience that power of resurrection. To have our “hearts enlightened” means more than intellectual awareness; it means having the power of God grasp us, take hold of us, and root itself in us, bringing light into our hearts where there was once only darkness. Do you understand that power? Does it enable you to overcome the deadly obsession with reputation, comfort, and control that we labor so hard to preserve each day? Is the resurrection merely a story of the Son of God come back to life, or is the resurrection your story of the experience of new life?
John C. Lin, Downtown Lead Pastor
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer
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