Hello everyone. Rob here.
It’s my daughter’s birthday today and my son’s next week. They are growing up and their parents are growing older. It’s a reminder, once again, that life is constant change and transition. 2020 has been one long lesson in that regard hasn’t it!? This has been a year where it feels like the world is being shaken up. We can no longer take anything for granted.
Allow me a metaphor. Yesterday I experienced a small earthquake. While that was nothing it reminded me that the safest buildings are those that flex with the quake. Being stiff and rigid is a sure sign that in a big quake, it will snap. In times of change and transition there is a strength in being able to move with the times, go with the flow and sway with the breeze. The key is to have a secure foundation. Paul prays this for us in Ephesians 3:15-19,
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
It’s an absolutely stunning and beautiful prayer. Rooted and established in love is a phrase that is both inviting and challenging. One of the things that gets tested in me in times of great change is my ability and capacity to love. It makes me wonder just how deeply rooted in love I am? Paul sees this as the key to living a life of power and faith. The true power is being able to grasp the endless dimensions of Christ’s love for us. When we do that we are “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” There’s a lot of God in us when there’s a lot of love in us because God is love.
Change challenges our ability to grasp God’s love because it turns our eyes, hearts and minds away from God and onto the circumstances of our life. It’s like when Peter went to walk out to Jesus on the water (see Matthew 14:25-32). He was fine when he had his eyes on Jesus but when he noticed the storm raging around him he began to sink. It’s hard to keep your eyes on Jesus in the storm and 2020 has been a storm. The storm, however, did not change the reality that Jesus was right there. When Peter began to sink he cried out and he was saved. Jesus is right there and he hears our cries. His love for us is present to us. We just have to remember that and take it to heart!
So take Paul’s prayer and pray it for yourself, your family, your friends, your church and your neighbours. God wants us to be filled with his love, filled to overflowing. he wants us to know the power of that love working in and through us. That is the Spirit-filled life. It is the life of Christ in us.
This week, may you know that you can be shaken but strong. You can hold firm and go with the flow. The world may make you tremble but God will give your courage. And may the love and peace of God be with you.