For Friday, October 8, the word of the day is “mystery.” In our reading of Ephesians 1:7-17 today, Paul lifts his eyes from his concerns for his churches, and he gazes into our hope in Christ. The Apostle speaks of the “mystery of His [God the Father’s] will.” It is the revelation of what God “purposed in Himself according to His good pleasure” (vs. 9).
The Greek word for “mystery” is derived from the sense of stopping the mouth or being silenced. The term implies that a mystery is a secret that is being kept until the proper time. Even then, it can only be disclosed by revelation and known by those whom the Spirit enlightens (Strong’s #3466 168). The mind of the Almighty is inscrutable. His judgments and “ways are past finding out” (Romans 11:33). But in Christ and by the Holy Spirit, God has divulged the secrets of His heart. He has revealed, His secret plan for His creation (vs. 9).
We Know Our Inheritance
Therefore, the faithful do not have to guess what God the Holy Trinity is up to. We no longer must hope that somehow everything will turn out alright. But we know the inheritance that God has in store for us. And we already have the Spirit as a down payment of our salvation (vs. 14).
But more than this, by the revelation of God, we know the destiny of the universe. The world may seem to be spinning out of control. One crisis may seem to pile up against the others. Yet, the Word of scripture assures us, the end of all things is in our spiritual sight.
We Are Moving to a Conclusion
What is that conclusion toward which all things are moving? The Apostle writes, “that in the fullness of the times, He [God] might gather together in one all things in Christ, things in heaven and which are on earth—in Him” (vs. 10). If Christ is our inheritance, He is also the world’s destiny. All things to be gathered together by Him, united in Him, and subjected to Him (Philippians 2:10).
To explain this realization of the divine plan, the venerable archpriest George Florovsky quoted St. Gregory of Nyssa. He wrote that Christ would come again “to restore the dead to incorruptibility…”. And then he added, “All the higher orders of creation will worship Him… All the angels will rejoice that men have again been summoned to their original state of grace… All creation, both the higher and lower orders, will join together in their rejoicing” (Florovsky 1978).
Today’s reading from Ephesians encourages us to look up from the division and the discord of our world. We might then lift our eyes to discern the mystery of the Holy Trinity’s purpose for His creation. From this higher viewpoint, we see the Lord is working in the disunity of this passing world to the glorious fulfillment of His divine purpose.