Ephesians 3:1-4:16, Psalm 85
Our little church that sings out of tune and often finds itself on Sunday morning with unfulfilled volunteer needs is but one church in our Lord’s global church through whom “the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 3:10). How exactly God is displaying His wisdom to spiritual beings in the heavenly realms is probably not perfectly answered in this passage, but I think Paul gives us a clue to how he sees God’s wisdom made manifest. First, Paul acknowledges the wisdom of grace which allows us to “approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:11), though we have no right at all to stand before our Holy God. God demonstrates wisdom through the church by proving that unmerited kindness has unique power to draw out glad-hearted worship. Secondly, God has so ordered the church with leaders (Ephesians 4:11-12) that help us reach full maturity in Christ (Ephesians 4:12) as we build each other up in love (Ephesians 4:16). All this work God intends to do through the church doesn’t require an awesome worship band, world-class preaching, a nice coffee bar, and people with their stuff together. It simply requires a people captivated by God’s kindness and committed to Jesus’ work to make us mature, even when it seems futile or painful. Even our part in this, that is being captivated and maturing, is really God’s work (Ephesians 2:10). We shouldn’t be surprised, for the idea that Agape Chicago, or any church for that matter, demonstrates wisdom from the maker of the stars strains belief. Even if it is hard to believe, it is true, so let’s continue to be the church that loves our Father, grows together, and proves God’s wisdom.