I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.
Christus is opgestaan! Hij is waarlijk opgestaan! (Dutch)
Kristus aq ungwektaq! Pichinuq ungwektaq! (Aleut)
Krist uskrsnu! Uistinu uskrsnu! (Croatian)
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Sometime between midnight and the morning of December 4 1875, the German steamship “Deutschland” ran aground on a shoal 25 miles off the English coast. The steamship immediately began taking on water and gale force winds hurled the sea wall over the sides of the vessel. Tragically, 78 lives were lost, among them 5 Franciscan nuns who had been forced out of Germany.
In the wake of the tragedy that filled the English news, the English poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote the poem, “The Wreck of the Deutschland”. The poem celebrated the lives of the five Franciscans and Christ’s victory over death. Towards the end of the poem there is a line much on my mind this Easter season. The line is actually a prayer to “let Him (Christ) easter in us”.
It’s a splendid line! Yes, let Easter get into us and fill us. Let Easter permeate all of our lives. Let Easter come and live right where we are, because Easter is not just something that happened in the year A. D. 32. Easter is something that can keep happening in us.
In today’s Scripture text the Apostle Paul is praying that we believers might let Christ Easter in us. He is praying that we might come to know “the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe”. Paul says that the supernatural power available to us today is the same power God put “to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places”.
Imagine Jesus’ body, cold, lifeless in the tomb, shattered by our sin. But see Him now, victorious over all and reigning at God’s right hand. The supernatural power that broke death’s shackles and raised Jesus is the same power of God available to every believer. Christ’s resurrection is set forth as the measure of power available to us today.
One of the significant things about God’s power within us is that it is only released as we begin to act. Many people never live in the power of resurrection because they keep waiting to first feel powerful. But it is only when we step out in faith that God’s power can go to work. It’s okay that we don’t feel powerful or capable to do what God calls us to do, because it isn’t about us. God’s power works in those who “believe”, as it is “the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe”.
All across Europe from the eleventh to the sixteenth century Easter was reckoned as the first day of the new year. People often would write in diaries their resolves for a new year of living in the light of God’s resurrection power. So as Easter marks the end of our long Lenten journey, let it also mark the beginning of a new way of living. Let Christ Easter in us!
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, for ever and ever. Amen.
Grace and peace,
photo by upyernoz