17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, 19 and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers. This power is conferred by the energy of God’s powerful strength. 20 God’s power was at work in Christ when God raised him from the dead and sat him at God’s right side in the heavens, 21 far above every ruler and authority and power and angelic power, any power that might be named not only now but in the future. 22 God put everything under Christ’s feet and made him head of everything in the church, 23 which is his body. His body, the church, is the fullness of Christ, who fills everything in every way.
Living under the approach to the airport in Philadelphia, it’s not uncommon for us to see planes overhead. Often they are low enough to make out the paint scheme that identifies which airline they belong to. As they bank and line up their approach, I often think about the people flying on that plane. Are they coming home? Are they coming to town for business? Or a visit with family? Maybe vacation? I sometimes wonder whether anyone I know is on board. Have you ever considered this?
It’s easy, when something is so far above us, to simply see a thing: an aircraft. It appears, it disappears, it’s hard for us to know where it’s coming from or where it’s going to. It’s easy to ignore because it appears in our consciousness for only a few moments, and then it’s gone.
It’s easy for us to think about God in the same way: mysterious, far above, drifting in and out of our recognition and consciousness without ever making any lasting impression. Theoretical and not actual.
But in this letter, the message is clear: Christ is far above us in a spiritual sense, but still every bit as real as the actual people sitting on the actual plane. We see evidence of Christ and his power in the Church, his body here on earth. It’s just like how if we went to the gate at PHL we’d see for ourselves that the airliner that flew over us was full of living, breathing people who are entirely real, as real as you and I are. If only we could see, there would be no doubt.
The challenge is that we sometimes need new eyes to see that reality. The writer of Ephesians prays this for his readers, including us: “that the eyes of your heart may have enough light to see.” Today, may you recognize that the things far above are every bit as real, as tangible, as powerful as anything here on this earth.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
When do you find it easiest to believe in God? When do you tend to doubt? Sometimes understanding these patterns can help us to reinforce faith at key moments when it is most critical for our surviving and thriving.
Prayer: Creator God, you are shrouded in mystery, and yet we know you are very real. Though we may only catch glimpses of you, perhaps only realizing you’ve been there after the moment has passed, we are still grateful for those glimpses, because they keep us in love with you. We trust that your power is still at work in the world and in us through the ever-living presence of Christ. Open our eyes and reveal yourself to us this day. Amen.