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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Today’s Reading | Ephesians 3:14–21 

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (NRSV)

It’s hard not to look around at the world today—at the discord, destruction, disagreement, devastation, and overall dissonance—and wonder whether the hope we preach is actually founded in reality. We believe—or at least aspire to believe—that an ounce of love is stronger than a pound of hate, that a small light can pierce through the darkness, and that Christ is indeed coming to make all things new, but there are many times when our world seems to suggest quite the opposite. What maintains our faith through it all?

It starts, either Paul or one of Paul’s close followers suggests, with trying our best to take the long view. We are to ask for strength, a strength rooted in Christ’s love. We will be pushed and pulled to expand our understanding of the height and breadth and depth of what that love is. But more than anything, we are being asked to trust that God is doing more in our world—in and through and with each of us—than we would even imagine in the moment.

One of my favorite benedictions, an old Franciscan blessing, sums it up like this: May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Even in the times when God’s love seems absent in this world—or perhaps especially in those times—I hope that we can each share enough foolishness to trust that God’s love is stronger than anything else we might encounter and that we live lives proclaiming that truth.

Holy God, strengthen me in hope when my spirit is waning, and challenge me to live my life according to the height and breadth and depth of your love. Amen.

Written by Matt Helms, Associate Pastor for Children and Family Ministry

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