For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. – Ephesians 3:1-13
I couldn’t wait to tell everyone. The news was good, and a weight of worry had been lifted from my shoulders. Our son’s sweat chloride tests came back “negative.” When you have a medical test, “negative” is a good thing to hear! He didn’t have cystic fibrosis. I wanted to call my sisters, my mom, our friends and church members, “Stephen’s OK. He doesn’t have CF!”
The implications of that good news are more far-reaching than you might imagine. If he had CF it would mean that both Diane and I had the recessive gene that causes this dread disease. It means that our family members would quite possibly have the recessive gene as well. The bad news would roll out over many people and even shape decisions for generations to come. CF is a dread disease. And we were spared its grave consequences.
The Good News of Jesus’ love, sacrificial death for our sins, and his resurrection from the grave are truly good news for all people. Those who believe in him have the promise of eternal life. When he returns at the end of time we who are his will rejoice forever in praise of his glorious grace. We need to spread this Good News to everyone.
Your neighbor needs to hear this Good News. So does your boss, your children, spouse, co-worker, friend, and even your enemy. But so does someone else it seems. Paul was given the task of sharing the Good News with the Gentiles “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
I heard of a unique approach to the drug war. A community near a park was beset with drug dealers, pimps and vandals. They would call the police and the problem would abate for a few hours. A creative person convinced their neighbors to try a different approach. They started playing classical music. Symphonies, concertos, canons, and fugues filled the air. Not too loud, but loud enough to cause the drug dealers and others to find a different place to ply their trades.
When we sing praise to God angels rejoice and demons retreat in aversion. Next time you sing a hymn or Christian song, next time you praise God, next time you acknowledge Jesus to be Lord consider how far-reaching that really is. Angels rejoice. Saints and martyrs join in your praise. Satan and his minions recoil in anguish.
I like the thought of that.