Ephesians 1:1-14

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesians, lays out for them how God has carried out his plan throughout history to bring salvation to humanity. He reminds them that he is an apostle for Christ, commissioned by him, to represent Christ in the world. He addresses them with two great Christian words—grace and peace, reminding them of the gift of God’s love and the peace of God which gives one assurance no matter what the circumstances. He notes that God’s plan was to adopt persons to himself through Jesus Christ, granting them all legitimate rights as part of God’s family. This was brought about through the death of Christ on a cross which gave them deliverance and forgiveness of sins. Men and women could not free themselves from their own sins, but Christ had delivered them from them. This deliverance was a gift from God. The great mystery of the Gospel, according to Paul, was that Gentiles were included in God’s grace as well as the Jews. The wideness of God’s grace is a foretaste of the blessedness which all will experience in the heavenly realm one day.

Having focused on God’s unique gift of the baby at Christmas as God’s entrance into our world, our attention now turns to understand the salvation that God has brought about through the death of Christ. This was God’s plan throughout eternity so that all could grasp the extent of God’s unconditional love and grace. Christ did not give his life merely for the Jews but for all humanity. “There is a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea,” the hymn writer notes. You and I can be thankful that we are included in this amazing love, and should never forget that this love of God extends to all without reservation. Our faith is personal but never totally private. We are charged as Paul was to be an apostle to share this good news with others. In the New Year, in this Christmastide, should we not seek to find ways that we can share this great good news with others. It is not ours to hoard but to share. Will you undertake with me to find some way to tell another person about the love of Christ in the coming year?

Prayer: God of grace and glory, thank you for such amazing love. Give me the courage and means of sharing this good news with others. Amen.

Bill Tuck