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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, January 11, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Ephesians 3:1–12

This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. (NRSV)

I like to know things. When I was little my parents had a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica on the shelf. Pre-Google, when I had a question, I could go look it up in the Encyclopedia, or at least I could try. Then Ask Jeeves came along, and now when someone asks a question I don’t know the answer to, I Google it.

Paul writes of the mystery made known to him through revelation. With the help of Google, I learned that this comes from the Greek word musterion. It means “that which God has hidden, and only God can reveal.” I struggle with these mysteries more often than I care to admit—the idea that God has a plan, it has been known from the beginning of time, and I must wait for God to reveal it in God’s own time. I feel like I should be able to put my research skills to the test and figure out this “hidden plan.”

But that is where faith comes in: I can study my Bible, listen to as many sermons as I want, but at the end of the day, I have to have faith that God has a plan, even if that plan is never revealed to me. 

God, give me faith and understanding, even when I don’t understand. Help me to trust in your greater plan, even when I cannot see the step in front of me. I pray that one day all will be revealed but ask for understanding if that day never comes. Amen. 

Written by Katie Patterson, Youth Ministry Program Manager

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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