For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
These well known, and loved, words seem to almost act as a doxology or closing point at this juncture of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesian Church. However, it is anything than that; there is quite a chunk of solid teaching to follow. Here Paul is pouring out his gratitude to the Lord regarding the ministry which God has given him and his overwhelming commitment to the task in hand. Throughout it all it is clear to see just how he longs for all the believers there to experience the love of God not in little, rationed, portions but in its entirety. Paul knows that he has been transformed by God’s love and wants everyone to similarly experience and enter into such a great love for themselves.
However, Paul readily acknowledges that this has only been possible due to the Heavenly Father enabling him to partake in the riches of His glory. It is this as well as being endued with the power of the Holy Spirit, which gives him the abilities to enable him to fulfil his God-given ministry.
In essence Paul is longing that all may be given the spiritual understanding to know unreservedly a love such as this for themselves. He is mindful of the fact that he, as much as anyone, needs that fullness which he commends to his readers.
So filled is he with humble adoration and appreciation that he can only do one thing and that is, bow his knees willingly to the One who has made all of this possible.
The final two verses are a reminder of what he knows so well. This is that it is only through the Lord being at work in each one of us who can accomplish such, bringing us to that fulfilment of knowing the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge. What confidence and assurance these words give us as we seek to be faithful ourselves wherever the Lord has placed us to serve Him.
God of extreme and lavish love, We fall in wonder on our knees, To bask in your presence And to experience even more
Of the love that you offer to each one of us. Teach us the lesson of humility, That we can only serve you completely, If we open ourselves to your divine love And receive from you the love that knows no limits. In Jesus’ name and for his glory alone. AMEN.
Verena Walder Lay Preacher and Elder; Tabernacle, Mumbles.