God the Grace-filled Gatherer

Read: Ephesians 1:1-10

He has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (vv. 9-10 NRSV)

The scope of Paul’s vision here in Ephesians is vast. Included in this mind-bending description of God’s loving will is nothing less than the gathering or uniting of all things in heaven and on earth. From before the foundation of the world, God chose us in Christ to be his children. We are God’s adopted children because of the work of Christ. We are redeemed by virtue of Christ’s blood. We are forgiven our trespasses according to the riches of God’s grace. Paul piles image upon image to explain the divine mystery of God’s unfathomable love.

The overarching goal of God’s plan is to gather up all things in Christ. As when you tally up the numbers at the end of a long addition problem or summarize all your arguments in a single conclusion, so God will, in the fullness of time, reunite all things into a harmonious whole. Christ, the Source and Sustainer of all, is also the God toward whom all things are moving and the End in whom the entire universe finds its meaning and fulfillment. A God of grace will gather all things. —Steven Bouma-Prediger

As you pray, thank God for making known to us the all-encompassing scope of his immeasurable grace in the person and work of Christ.

About the Author

Steve Bouma-Prediger is the Leonard and Marjorie Mass Professor of Reformed Theology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. A graduate of Hope College, his Ph.D. is in religious studies from The University of Chicago. His most recent book is Earthkeeping and Character: Exploring a Christian Ecological Virtue Ethic.

When not teaching or writing, he spends as much time as possible canoeing or backpacking in his favorite places in North America or simply hiking among the magnificent trees in southwest Michigan parks.

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