I have a confession to make: in the past, I have always thought that Ephesians was overrated.
Oh, don’t get me wrong…I knew it was good, but the way people gushed over it and went on and on? Well, I thought that was a bit unwarranted. I mean, sure, there are some gems in there, but those gems are usually buried in the world’s longest sentences. Seriously, Paul’s sentence structure completely loses me half the time. Plus, it is often so hard to quote accurately from Ephesians because each sentence flows so much into the next one, that you usually have to go, like three verses back to get to the start of the idea, and when you do that, you find that Paul was talking about something else, and so you have to explain that, and…blah. It’s just a hassle.
Now, Philippians? That is an amazing book. Colossians? Also awesome. Ephesians? Eh.
Well, today, I officially repent of my dismissive attitude toward Ephesians. I was wrong. Everyone else was right. Ephesians is awesome and wonderful and spectacular and life-changing and all the other things people say. My eyes were first opened this summer when I was reading through the New Testament. I can’t remember now exactly what happened, but for the first time, Ephesians just clicked with me. It all worked. No longer did I just rush through until I got to chapter four…no, I saw how the first three theological chapters were the crucial (not to mention beautiful) set up for the last three “application” chapters.
And so, as an act of repentance, I am going to share the verses I read this morning that physically made my heart beat faster. They were familiar, but even their familiarity could not hide their revolutionary awesomeness. For an added bonus, I will “bold” the words that truly, literally made my pulse quicken as I read:
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Eph. 3:16-21
What a phenomenal prayer! I distinctly remember writing this prayer down as a teenager, along with all of Paul’s other prayers in the epistles, on a page in my journal called, “Paul’s awesome prayers.” And yet, fifteen years later, it still blows my mind. I could sit and meditate on each of those bold phrases all day long, and still not quite grasp their magnitude.
So, in conclusion, I’m sorry, Ephesians, for underestimating you. You are truly a powerful letter, and I am thankful for all the ways you have helped me get to know God.