Reflection for OS34, Sunday November 22, 2020Theme: Christ the KingEpistle reading: Ephesians 1.15

Reflection for OS34, Sunday November 22, 2020

Theme: Christ the King

Epistle reading: Ephesians 1.15-end: The superior greatness of God’s power.

The epistle reading for Christ the King Sunday is from the first chapter of the letter to the Ephesians. It is likely that this letter was an encyclical sent to the churches of Asia Minor of which Ephesus was the principal city. The passage we read is in the form of a prayer. It is a very objective and wide ranging prayer as distinct from a personal devotion.

The prayer begins at Eph 1.15 with thanksgiving for the faith and love of the recipients. All prayer must be based on faith and love. We must believe in the One to whom we pray. Our thoughts as we pray must be loving and admit no unworthy attitude towards the object of our prayer. Our prayers should reflect the nature and will of God as revealed in Christ Jesus to whom we address our prayer.

The author (possibly Paul but uncertain) asks that God may grant the readers ‘a spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowledge of Him’, being enlightened in the eyes of their heart. Wisdom in the OT sense of the an understanding of God’s nature and ways, and an ability to understand the world and how to live in it as God intended. Look up Proverbs 8 for a good summary of the OT view of wisdom. To the gift of wisdom is added the inward gift of spiritual insight and the hope of our calling. The author identifies the gifts we need to be effective church members – wisdom, spiritual insight, and hope.

The author then praises God for His greatness and power towards the believer, revealing ‘the superior greatness of His power according to the working of the strength of His might’. These attributes are shown in all their power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and in His heavenly session, ‘far above every rule and authority and power and lordship and every name named in this world and the next…

This is a wide ranging and objective prayer reflecting the cosmic nature of our faith. Read it and pray it this week as we celebrate the kingship of Christ and the power of God.

Reverend Dr Calum Gilmour

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