Back to the Holy Fire Part 3

     The benefits of being a child of a king are enormous. Just in the earthly sense, imagine you are a child of a king. Think of the palaces of the kings in the Middle East and all the grandeur. Think of the level of honor given to those who live in royalty in England. They are often the objects of pomp and circumstance. Honor guards salute them. Military might guard them. Heads of state celebrate them. This is exactly what I find in our passage for this session. Ephesians 1:5-12 (NRSV):
     5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,” God, the creator king of the universe, has done two things. He planned our adoption and looks at us through Christ as His children. With that, reality comes all of the inheritance that belongs to the children of royalty. We are children of the king. Second, the nature of God’s actions in adopting us tells us something about our relationship with Him. We are told in this passage that it is according to the pleasure of God’s will. Another translation adds the word kind to the word will; saying, “according to the pleasure of His kind intention [will]…”  At the risk of sounding sarcastic, and I really don’t mean to… but consider the idea conveyed here for a moment and weigh it against the voice of those in the body of Christ today that over emphasize the placed of Reason alone in reading the Bible. What I mean is that what I personally read in this one verse is not meant so much for my mind as it is my HEART. It is a sentence designed to encourage me about how much God loves me, and past tense, loved me in Alpha eternity, that He planned what he did. Of course, the reason is connected to the heart, but I do not think that God intends for us to allow our minds to dominate what He is saying TO our hearts. It is His kind intention toward us that He wants us to experience as children.
6 “to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”His grace is bestowed. I realize that people hardly use that word anymore, but it carries a rich meaning. To me, it conveys an image of one bearing many gifts, loaded down so much, there is no room to contain all of the wonderful things brought to give away. I recall the voice of the Spirit one day that revealed this sentence to me. It was at a time, long after my diagnosis with HIV and about a year after going on medical leave, and I was pretty bored and desolate. I was reading about God abiding with me, and heard that still small voice say, “It’s as if God wants to come into your home and unpack all His stuff.” I had a picture of Jesus coming into my apartment with a suitcase and opening it up, revealing a vast, eternal supply of everything imaginable!
7 In him we have:
Redemption through his blood,
The forgiveness of our trespasses,
According to the riches of his grace
8 that he lavished on us.
It is all too good to be true. Look at the words used in verse seven: Redemption; Forgiveness; Riches; Grace; these are separate actions and objects, yet they are connected to the kind intention of the eternal God. They compliment one another. They tell use about the nature of God’s intention. For instance, His forgiveness is rich and gracious.  His grace includes the act of redemption, (paying the kinsmen’s redeemers price), richly for us, the cost was His own son. You see, in the Old Testament, when a debt was owed and the borrower could not pay, the debtor could be taken into slavery to repay the debt, and sometimes he even forfeited his property. However, there was a provision in the year of Jubilee, every 40 years, that a relative, (kinsman), could pay the debt and redeem the person back and the property. This is the picture we have in God’s intention of Grace through Christ. Christ was the payment for us, and our spiritual richness and inheritance. God paid that enormous price. Our understanding of should be sensed esoterically and in the heart. It transcends our reason. God intends for it to. He lavished it upon us for that reason.

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About Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

Disciple of Jesus Christ with a Progressive Message, Author, Franciscan Friar, Musician, Social Activist, and Urban Missionary View all posts by Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

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