I’m continuing with comments on the scripture passages for this week from the Daily Bible Study, which my Sunday School class uses as curriculum.
This passage, like most of the passages this week, links God’s Word (whether in words or not) with creation and justice. We are to praise God because his word holds true, his work endures (v. 4). He loves righteousness and justice and his unfailing love fills the earth (v. 5).
It’s interesting to note that this passage, very much like yesterday’s passage from Proverbs, states the attributes first and then makes the power explicit. “By YHWH’s word the heavens were made, by the breath of his mouth all their host” (v. 6). “He spoke, and it was, he commanded, and it stood firmly” (v. 9).
I quote it fairly frequently, but I wonder how often we think about who this must be when we talk about being in God’s presence, or hearing God’s voice, or looking at something that we say must surely be the act of God.
It’s possible for us to affirm the right things about God and never even imagine a tiny fraction of what all this would be like. Perhaps a slightly less casual attitude might be in order.
The reference “Ephesians 3:14-21” is inscribed inside my wedding band. This is a powerful passage, and I just want to call attention to a few lines: “… that you may be able to grasp with all the saints the breadth, length, height, and depth, (19) to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you can be filled with all of God’s fullness.”
We often—I often—don’t really get this. It is in the nature of a teacher to explain things, but in this case we have to say we can’t make this clear. It surpasses knowledge. It surpasses our ability to imagine it.
And then verse 20: “Now to the one who is able to immeasurably more than we ask or conceive according to the power that is working among us …” And that points us back to Psalm 33 and the one who speaks and it is done.
Do you ever pause and try to imagine this? Or is “we are the body of Christ” just a description of an ordinary gathering of humans?