Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In our reading this week from Ephesians 3, the apostle makes a profound observation. In verse 15 he says that the naming of every family comes from God the Father. The idea of naming in the Bible is more important than we might think. Biblically, to name someone is to speak of the character of the individual or group.
When Paul says that every family derives a name from God, he says that God knows all that can be known about you, about me, about everyone. He knows all the relationships we form, both good and bad. He knows how we influence others and how they influence us.
What is the name the Lord has given those who trust in him? He has placed his own name on them. In baptism, we are baptized “into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We are given the character of God, because His name is applied to us.
The implications of this are enormous. All of a sudden, it is not our power at work, but God’s power. It is not our faithfulness, but God’s faithfulness which is operating. It is not our wisdom, but the wisdom of God which looks at the troubles of our world. It is not our love for others, but God’s love for them which works through us.
By this immeasurable gracious work of God naming us as his children we become instruments of grace. In verse 20, when God does more than we could ever think, he is doing it through us to care for his world. He is working through us to bring glory to himself. And that glory is primarily shown in his reconciling the world to himself.
As God has placed his name upon his people, may we have grace to be faithful servants in his kingdom.
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