The Fullness of Him Who Fills All in All

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Ephesians 1:15-23

And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (vv. 22-23 NRSV)

Claims to power abound in our culture. Best-selling books present their 12-step programs to success. Sports teams compete for the chance to chant “We’re number one!” Corporations maneuver for greater market share. Nations vie for supremacy and tyrants struggle to keep their places, often using violence to achieve their ignoble ends. Religious groups promise spiritual enlightenment to those who join their ranks. The claims to power are legion—in our age as in the past. But in what (or in whom) can real power be found?

The apostle Paul has a clear answer to that question. In this text, filled with the language of power, Paul writes that the most powerful act in history was God raising Jesus from the dead and exalting him in heavenly glory. Christ is now God’s “right-hand man,” with power far above all earthly rule and authority and power and dominion. Christ’s name is above every other name—contemporary singer, famous actor, professional athlete, political ruler—now and forever. This is very good news because it means there is no one and nothing on earth or in heaven capable of thwarting God’s purpose.

PRAYER

God, who raised and exalted Jesus, remind us that nothing can ever prevent your loving purposes from coming to completion.