At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. Ephesians 1:22-23
“All this” refers to the incredible spiritual riches and blessings we believers have in Christ outlined in Ephesians 1:3-14. This week we have been concentrating on Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers in vv 15-23. and the above verses are the capstone of that prayer.
The first two chapters of the book of Hebrews also emphasize that Jesus is exalted above all and in control of all creation: “For when he put all things under his control, he left nothing outside of his control. At present we do not yet see all things under his control…” Heb 2:8
Far too often the events of the world around us and the casualties of our personal and everyday lives cause us to wonder…is Jesus really in charge here? As Hebrews 1:8 expresses, At present we do not yet see all things under his control. So we anticipate the reality of his control, even though we don’t yet experience it in all its fullness and glory.
So how do we get a realistic and truthful grip on the eternal Big Picture of Jesus as head of the church and director of All Things? How do we envision the world as peripheral to the church?
Our first challenge is to set aside the notion that attaining this vision is strictly individual…we are in this together. However, as individual church members we need a strong, daily drink of truth about the eternal reality of our King and Redeemer so Christ can speak and act through us to “fill everything with his presence”.
What if we start each day by figuratively drinking an eternal, supercharged smoothie of scripture such as Ephesians 1:3-14 or Hebrews 1 and 2 (there are numerous others) into the center of our being? Taking this daily nutrition prior to encountering the world around us can change our perspective from victim of the world to “the world is peripheral to the church” when we understand Jesus is creator and ruler of all things.
By Kathleen Petersen