Saturday after Ad te levavi, The First Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Ephesians 3:1-12 (NKJV)
3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—
2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,
7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. 8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
One cannot help but notice the humility displayed by Paul as his role of bringing Christ to the Gentiles is unfolded. First, he was a prisoner of Christ, and then he was one who is less than the least of all called to announce the Gospel.
Think back to the power of God at work in Paul’s life. It was revealed on a trip to Damascus where Paul (as Saul) witnessed the omnipotent power of God being displayed with Saul’s blindness. Then a voice that only he could hear asked, “Why are you persecuting Me?” Then came the promise fulfilled on the “straight street” where the scales fell from Saul’s eyes, enabling him to see the mysteries of God unfold before him so he could preach the message of Christ crucified.
You and I as Gentiles are able to see what is the fellowship of the mystery. God created all things through Jesus Christ and made a way possible for man to be called children of God. Through baptism we are regenerated in the Spirit of God, captivated to live by His grace. This Advent, give thanks to God who has changed the direction of your life from tearing down to building up through confidence and faith in Christ.
We pray: Stir up, we beseech Thee, Thy power, O Lord, and come, that by Thy protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Thy mighty deliverance; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.