The Apostle Paul, writing to a church in Ephesus, proclaims, “This mystery was not made known to humankind as it has now been revealed…” What is the mystery? What is the secret? God loves everyone. That’s it. That’s the mystery. God’s grace is not reserved for a special few who think alike and look alike and share similar beliefs. Nope. God’s grace is for everyone. How is the world supposed to discover this mystery, this “secret plan of God,” as Eugene Peterson describes it? Through the church. Our task as followers of Jesus is to share this good news with the world!

Paul wrote “both of us have access…to God.” The word both refers to Jews and Gentiles. He is saying everyone, through the love and grace of Jesus, is invited to participate fully in the family of God.

Paul makes a very strong case for this inclusive Gospel by recalling his own life as an example. In Ephesians 3:8 he writes, “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…” Paul, before he was a famous Christian missionary, persecuted Christians.

Do you see what Paul is driving at here? God came to him, the lowest of the low, a cruel and dangerous person, and God chose Paul to be the great leader in the church, to be the one who would preach this message of grace and love for everyone. The self-deprecatory tone that Paul uses here is almost untranslatable into English. “I am the lowest of the low; I am at the bottom of the trash pile.” And yet, this is the one God called.

Paul concludes in Ephesians 3:13, “I pray therefore that you may not lose heart…” Great advice. Do not lose heart in this frightening world. Remember that God can work in the middle of anything and bring about the good news of God’s love for all.

You know what? It’s not supposed to be a secret. Take this word to the world and let God’s love be given and received.

Grace and peace to you,