In my life I have meet some reasonably, politically powerful people. I recall the first time this happened, and I was scared beyond belief. All I had to do was open the door of their car as they arrived to a military parade, but the build up to it, and the “fear-of-god’ instilled in me if I got it wrong, made the moment terrifying. As I gradually met more and more I began to realise that it wasn’t that scary at all, and I even became bolder in answering truthfully what I thought rather than what others wanted me to say. The more gracefully honest I was, the more I saw some of the things I shared shape some positive outcomes.
I think that too often we approach prayer from the same scared self that I initially approached powerful people. After all, we are speaking to the God who holds the universe, and all other versions of multiple universes, in the palm of his hand. We are speaking to the Messianic King under whom all authority in heaven and earth has been given. Just the thought of this is enough to make anyone quiver and melt like jelly under a hot outback sun. The presence of such unimaginable power, magnitude, and awesomeness makes our puny little insignificant self almost obscure and irrelevant.
And yet, in Paul’s letter to Ephesus, with this cosmic God in sight, Paul reminds the fledgling church that we have the wonderful opportunity to come before Him in prayer. A prayer to the one under whom all in heaven and earth find their identity, to pour into our lives His Spirit so Christ may dwell in our hearts. Yes, that’s right, the Lord of heaven and earth is being invited to come and dwell in the hearts of this tiny speck of a human insignificance. Why? So, we can share and comprehend with one another the breadth, depth, length and height of God’s love for us in Christ Jesus. That the knowledge of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, may fill us with the fullness of the God.
Imagine what a church would look like if we got past our fear of insignificance and embraced the place God has invited us to be in with Him. It may seem impossible, but we are talking about Jesus who is able to act abundantly in ways beyond our imagination. This is the God who rules the universe, both seen and unseen, who invites us to be one with Him. We don’t have to do anything to make that possible, for in Christ it is already a reality. What would the church look like if it said an unequivocal yes to this? How amazing a community that would be who knew the insurmountable knowledge of the richness of God’s glory dwelling among them.
We talk about power, and the world grapples with such improbable assumptions that we humans somehow can claim it for ourselves. We see all around us the falsity of such, and the devastation it wreaks upon our world. We are the church, the place where the Lord of the universe has chosen to dwell. Not just that, we are that[ place where all other notions of power are deemed insignificant. We are the body of Christ, and we have a message of hope to a world that groans under the weight of oppressiveness power. We not only approach the throne of grace, the throne of grace dwells within us, not for our sake, but so the world might know the immeasurable richness of God’s love and grace for them.