7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance,* having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will.
In today’s scripture text, we have what in literature or the stage would be called the denouement, the final resolution of the story. In this denouement we have reached that for which we have long been waiting and looking. Here is catharsis, relief, and a release of tension and anxiety that follows the culmination of the drama.
One can feel in today’s text the Apostle Paul’s exhilaration as he is granted to see history’s grand story brought to completion in Christ Jesus. Paul is swept off his feet by the soaring trajectory of God’s grace. Now is revealed God’s eternal purpose to gather up, literally, in Christ – “things in heaven, and things on earth.”
Here the Spirit gives a cosmic glimpse of the redemption and interconnection of all things in Christ Jesus. We are given to see that Christ’s redemptive mission is far, far beyond anything than we could have thought or imagined! Christ’s salvation takes on vast, all-encompassing, cosmic proportions.
Notice in God’s plan the inclusion of every creature and every purpose of God, as the words, “all things,” are used twice in the brief passage. First, in verse 10, the “all things” takes in every creature in God’s boundless creation. Today we can look out upon creation with new eyes as we know God’s purpose to encompass “all things” in Christ’s redemptive mission. This means that “all things” are of ultimate and eternal importance to God.
Then, notice in verse 11 how God will accomplish “all things”, according to his counsel and will. Not one purpose or plan of God will fail. No creature or purpose will slip from his sovereign hand. The “all things” of God’s purpose will be accomplished on behalf of the “all things” of his creation. With the Christmas angels we rejoice today: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth!”
Beyond the cradle of the Incarnation, we see God’s eternal purpose to bring all things to one dazzling, harmonious consummation in Christ Jesus. Until then we will pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. And until then we will work for, and we will watch for the day when “at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
Merry Christmas! Let all our hearts be at peace!
Read, Reflect, Respond, and Rest with today’s reading and Isaiah 9:6-7:
For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Today’s Moments of Diaphany
- an answer to prayer
- evidence of his love and care
- evidence of his creative power and wisdom
- his help to do his work