Ephesians 1:7-9 7 We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace, 8 which he poured over us with wisdom and understanding. 9 God revealed his hidden design to us, which is according to his goodwill and the plan that he intended to accomplish through his Son.
[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]
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Ephesians 1:7-9 In Other Words
It is as if we have had a transfusion of divine energy, that opens the possibility that we can move beyond our shortcomings and grow gracefully into wisdom and understanding. In the Human One we begin to grasp the divine invitation that lures us beyond ourselves – so that our passions and priorities are shaped by greater (may I even say ‘divine’) values.
I don’t remember his name. All I remember is that he was a British physician, a conservative charismatic. He suggested a rather striking interpretation of the phrase “washed in the blood of Christ.” He recognized the metaphoric import of the phrase and suggested that a modern equivalent would be “transfused with the blood of Christ.” Striking! I would suggest, however, one addition – namely, transfused (or, even, infused) with divine energy. The first responders who rushed into the twin towers on 9/11 were doing their job, infused with divine energy. The teacher who spends extra time to help an autistic child is elevating her skills because of an infusion of divine energy. The Muslim woman who appeared on Fox news wearing a hijab fashioned from an American flag was infused with divine energy. Those who stand up and support the equitable enforcement of civil rights in the face of homophobic hatred are infused with divine energy. Those who don old clothes, boots, rubber gloves, and masks to help clean up after flood water recede from a community have been infused with divine energy.
Divine energy (the “blood of Christ”) is the direct result of responding to an inner dynamic – an insistence, a lure, a nudge, an invitation that comes to us, as it were, in the name of God. Perhaps. It doesn’t matter what we call God – YHWH, Allah, Mystery, my Highest Power, Karma, …; it doesn’t even matter whether we recognize God or not. There is within each of us the capacity to reach beyond ourselves – to encounter a moral imperative (Kant) or moral indicative (Lehmann); to hear the voice of conscience (Jimminy Cricket) or the collective unconscious (Jung). That inner encounter often broadens our perspective and connection with the world around us and infuses us with an energy that enables us to move in new directions and/or with new resolve.
For those of us who identify with the Christian tribe, we focus on the life, mission, and teachings of a poor carpenter named Yeshua who lived a couple of millenia ago. In him we encounter a human life fully infused with divine energy. For us, he is the first-fruit of a new humanity, a new way of being present in the world. He models a life lived in the exuberance of compassion and the joy of distributive justice. So, we call him the Prince of Peace. As a follower, to call him by such an epithet, requires a like response from me. Hence that inner nudge, that divine lure, that mysterious invitation that infuses with divine energy and opens the possibility that we can move beyond our shortcomings and grow gracefully into wisdom and understanding – into compassion, peace, and justice.