“...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.”
Ephesians 1:8-10 NIV
"To bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ." This phrase warrants a little breaking down.
"To bring unity" or to restore the parts into one beautifully unified whole.
Our world is like an old Mustang in the back yard up on blocks. It needs a lot of work to return to it's former glory. It needs a transformation that can only come through intentional and labor-intensive effort over time.
The "unity" part is the essential piece. We're taking our corrupted world and bringing it together. God is uniting all creation in purpose, on purpose, to it's former unified beauty.
"All things" means all things--everything. People, creation, heaven, earth...everything.
What's cool about all of this is that we "get" to be a part of it. As God's people--those he's reconciled to himself and to each other, we are being united by Christ into one, unified, purposeful family on mission together.
This is God's plan. This is the mystery he revealed to Paul and then the world. God working to reveal his kingdom to our decaying world to restore it.
Sure Christ will come one day and completely restore all things. That's coming and nothing can stop it. It will be a total work of God. That doesn't mean, however, we just kick back and wait for that to happen. We have something to do in the meantime.
We actively work to reveal this beautiful kingdom, one glimpse at a time, to our world. It is often through this effort that people are drawn to the King of that kingdom. Maybe the best way. God's family working in unity together to bring his kingdom to earth--a foretaste of the fullness of Christ that will be here when he returns.
Is this mysterious plan consistent with your "church" experience? Do you find yourself part of a family on mission together extending Christ's kingdom where you live, work and play?
What is God saying to you?
What are you going to do about it?