Gathering Up All Things

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Ephesians 1:1-10

With all wisdom and insight 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. 8-10)

On an ocean beach recently I was collecting things with my youngest daughter. We picked up all sorts of beautiful objects – polished stones, burnished shells, wind- and water-swept driftwood. These gathered treasures we took home to display.

The apostle Paul, in evocative language, attempts to explain the ways of God. God’s grand plan, made known preeminently in Christ, is to gather up all things in heaven and on earth. Mysteriously all things are summed up, collected, skillfully brought together under one head. It is as if in Christ God gathers up all the seemingly unconnected and loose pieces of life, sifts out what is contrary to God’s good pleasure, and displays the collection as it was meant to be. God does not destroy these things in heaven and earth; rather God the master artist puts them all in their proper place, in relation to Christ, so each can enhance the beauty of the other.


Artisan God, as you gather up all you have made, that it may shine with your glory, make us instruments of your abiding peace.