Ephesians 1:15-23 (NIV)
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.
I’m grateful to Sally, for making me think again about this passage. I would have been focussed on the verses about Paul giving thanks for the church in Ephesus, and the prayer he had for them. Oh that someone would look at my life and feel like saying, “I give thanks for you”, that my life could be such a beacon.
But Sally’s question brought my eyes to the final verse, and the fact that the church is filled by Christ. That got me wondering…
When we think of the church, we may be used to thinking of it as Christ’s body. The Church is the people, not the building. We are the hands, feet, beating heart, and voice of Christ. But what about being full of him? A body only works if it is full of blood, reaching each part of it, keeping it oxygenated and alive. To be the body of Christ, we need to remain full of him, serviced and kept alive.
But what if we turn that back around to think of the church as a building, or the place where we meet. How full of Christ is that? Is it the place where we go to be “topped up” on our vital life fluid of faith. Is it full of people for whom we thank God, because they help in that process of keeping us and our faith alive? Or is church sometimes full of busyness and doing, that can be life-sapping rather than life-enhancing?
What do you think? What is your experience?
may I ever seek
to be filled by you,
that my life may be all you offer
and make possible