Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ…In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
A third blessing You have blessed me with, Father, is redemption through the blood of Your Son, Jesus. You purchased me to Yourself by covering my debt that I owed You with Your own sacrifice. This sacrifice freed You to forgive my sins and is yet another evidence of the richness of Your grace.
It seems there is no end to how much You love us, for You lavished on us this forgiveness, covering even the most vile of our transgressions. There are some of us who were convinced that our crimes were too great, too heinous, to be forgiven. But Your grace has known no bounds.
Indeed, to a population of trespassers who could hold their collective wisdom in a thimble, You gave an additional blessing of all wisdom and insight by making known to us the mystery of Your will. How else could we have known the extent of Your love and that it was really ours to receive?
Jesus is the embodiment of this kind intention of Yours to fill us in. He came to tell us about You and about the rescue available to castaways drowning in an ocean of sin and rebellion. He began a new administration of Your grace that is suitable to the finalization of Your plan to redeem the human race. Jesus is the sum of all things and His administration of Your grace is the summing up of all things in heaven and earth. We are looking to this finalization of Your plan when He establishes His kingdom here. I can’t wait, Lord!
Father, there has been much reflection on why You deemed it the right time to send Jesus, why that was the fullness of time. it seems a history of rebellion and exile and restoration had prepared Israel for the Messiah. The success of world super-powers like Greece and Rome in creating a need for and ability for speaking one universal language by most people on earth made preaching this fullness of times easier. it does not seem that the world was any darker nor more enlightened than any other time.
But in Your infinite wisdom You considered what we now call 5 B.C. (or B.C.E.) the right time for the Son of God to take on a human nature and be born as a human child. The uneasy relationship between Israel and her Roman conquerors set the stage for Jesus’ crucifixion. And the rest is history.
It is still the fullness of times and the administration of the gospel is still in full force, but it seems we continually need a kick in the pants to keep our energies up. I need constant motivating and I thank You for helping me along. My daughter asked, or should I say remarked in disgust, yesterday, “Are Christians now considered extremists?” I suppose we are. May we ride that wave to glory, Lord! May we be identified with Your Son, the extremist.