For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:14-21
She looked young and beautiful in the white wedding gown that her mother had made. She was on her father’s arm. When I looked down the church aisle I nearly forgot how much my feet hurt in my rental tuxedo shoes. As she was walking in, her hands and arms began to shake. She was to be my wife – shaking hands and all. She told me later that she wanted to tell the people she was really OK. But I don’t think anyone really noticed.
She had noticed some weeks earlier this passage in Ephesians. And it was her idea to include it as a prayer in our wedding. This was a beautiful way to end our wedding. I am thankful that she had found it. Whenever I see the passage, I think of Diane and thank God for her, and for moving our hearts together…some 44 years ago.
Consider the thoughts here: God gives names to all the families of the earth. He determines who we are. Sometimes this is lost on us. Sometimes we believe we have more power and are more autonomous than we actually are. None of us chose the time or place we were born. We did not choose our parents. In fact, our parents did not choose us – unless we were adopted.
But God has chosen us to be his children. We are the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are part of God’s family we ought also be careful to protect the family name. Making a good impression, and seeking to honor the family name is a must.
To that end we pray for God’s strength be given us in our inner being. Our character is formed by the Holy Spirit’s presence in our hearts. God’s strength is grounded in and expressed in his love for us.
That we would know this! This is Paul’s prayer. This is God’s desire. This is a wedding prayer that will be fully realized in the Great Wedding Feast to come at the end of all time.