January 5, 2018

God’s Strategic Plan

Strategic planner that I am, I love it when a plan starts coming together with results. One of the readings for Epiphany, Ephesians 3: 1-12, reveals some pretty amazing aspects of God’s plan already in the works.

First, there is Jesus’ role: to bring humankind together into one big family where Jews and Gentiles alike are heirs in God’s Kingdom (verse 6. Accomplished).

Verse 10 explains God’s plan also includes an amazing role for the church. I gasped when I read it:

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purposes which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 3:10)

The NIV Study Bible footnote on this verse seems to validate my gasp. It says, in part:

…The fact that God has done the seemingly impossible – reconciling and organically uniting Jews and Gentiles in the church – makes the church the perfect means of displaying God’s wisdom. …It is a staggering thought that the church on earth is observed , so to speak, by these spiritual powers and that to the degree the church is spiritually united it portrays to them the wisdom of God.

Staggering indeed that the church is to be exemplifying God’s wisdom to captains of the angelic host! Paul goes on (in Chapter 4) to detail how God’s plan includes gifting the church with leaders, pastors and teachers, to accomplish a mission of building up the church to achieve God’s vision of unity within the body of Christ. Now that’s a strategic plan in which we are all participating.

Consider how these verses could provide substance for prayerful discussion at your upcoming Vestry retreat.