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.
Sometime between midnight and morning of December 4, 1875, the German steamship “Deutschland” ran aground off the English coast. The steamship took on water and gale force winds hurled sea walls over the sides of the vessel. Tragically 78 lives were lost, among them five Franciscans who had been forced out of Germany.
In wake of the tragedy the esteemed English poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote a poem, “The Wreck of the Deutschland”. Toward the end of his 35-stanza elegy Hopkins put in a prayer for us all: “Let Him easter into us.” With that turn of phrase Hopkins prayed a wondrous prayer for this the Third Week of Easter. He longed for Christ to “easter” in us, to live His resurrection life in us. Hopkins reminds that Easter is not just one day on the calendar, but something that happens in us today and every day!
In today’s Scripture the apostle Paul also prays that we might let Christ “easter” in us. Paul prays for all believers that the Spirit open eyes to know Christ eastering in us right now: “so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened you may know…what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe.” He notes that this power released in us is the same power that God put “to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.”
What this means for us practically is that the same supernatural, divine power that shattered death and raised Jesus Christ is ours today! The Christian life is not behavior modification or trying harder, but Christ alive in us! More and more when I face problems or difficulties I like to simply pray: “What are WE going to do, Lord Jesus!” It is Christ who is in my life and in your life! (See Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4)
This morning a friend told me of a conversation with a man having a problem he hadn’t been able to overcome. That prompted my friend’s wise question to him: “But have you asked God for help?” There is after all, “the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe.” Yes Lord, do open the eyes of hearts, that we might see that power in us!
The power that raised Jesus from the dead, “easters” in us now! That’s why Jesus can tell us to do things that are humanly impossible! Things like, love our enemies, forgive unforgivable wrongs, and face down fear with unwavering faith.
The life of Christ is at work in us! We can go at life with apostolic swagger! The resurrected Christ wants to “easter” in us!
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Grace and peace,