‘To (the saints) God chose to make known
how great among the Gentiles
are the riches of the glory of this mystery,
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.’
There is absolutely no doubt that the Apostle Paul believed with all of his heart that something monumental had taken place in his generation;
that God, who was the Creator of all, the God who had entered into covenant with Israel, had fulfilled his promises to Israel for the creation; and had now made known ‘among the Gentiles’ no less- ‘how great….are the riches of the glory of this mystery’- the ‘mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints’ (1:26).
And what is this ‘mystery’ that had finally come to fruition and unveiled for all to see? ‘This mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’.
The mystery – what the long complex and multi-layered history of the covenant the Creator established with Israel was all about- had finally come to its surprising conclusion; namely, that the Christ of Israel (the Messiah, the Anointed One) was now resident within Gentile (as well as Jewish) believers!
Let that sink in for a moment: the climax of the Creator’s covenant with Israel on behalf of his creation finds its end in the indwelling of Israel’s Christ within ordinary human beings of all races- ourselves included!
As you attempt to let this sink in, let me remind you of what Paul has already told us about this Christ:
‘He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation’ (1:15);
He is one through whom and for whom ‘all things were created’ (1:16);
He is the one in whom ‘all of the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through (whom) to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross’ (1:19).
THIS is the one who now dwells in us;
THIS is the one who alone is the ground of our ‘hope of glory’.
I invite you this morning to let this truth, this mystery, sink deeply into your psyche. Let it stretch your mind, fill your heart, and overwhelm your imagination. The One in whom ‘the fullness of God was pleased to dwell’, the One through whom the Creator ‘has reconciled all things to himself’, THIS One dwells in you!
And as that truth sinks in, end your meditation where the lectionary ends Paul reflection this morning:
‘Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving’ (2:6-7)