Praying to the Father of All People Groups



Scripture:

Eph. 3:14   For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.

Observation:

Paul picks up the prayer which he began in chapter one. In many ways this call to the church is infused throughout with prayer, for Paul breathes deeply for the life of the churches he has birthed in Christ. These churches, filled with believers needed a much deeper spiritual understanding. This involved embracing the central mystery of God which is found in the joyful hope of reconciliation. Harmony and unity are to be restored in this new creation and the church is to be a reflection of this in the love of Christ. 

In this prayer Paul comes humbly before the Father, kneeling and giving honor. It was the custom in Paul’s days to stand and to pray, so this posture is foreign. It is a sign of humility before the throne of the almighty Father. This is an affirmation of God, as Father, who is the source of all things. The word that Paul uses for family is a word-play on the Greek word for father, and means all of those individuals who come from a single ancestor. God, in creation, is the Father of all people groups and all are created in the image of the Father. 

Application

Without realizing it, we tend to envision God in an image to which we can relate. I don’t think that’s too hard for people of European descent who have numerous painted images throughout history that give us our perception of God and Jesus. So much of Christianity came alive in the European continent, where scriptures were translated and churches built on a massive scale. Frescos, statues and paintings lined the walls of the churches and brought to life the scriptures, but often within an image very relatable to to the people responsible for the art work. 

Spending time in Africa I realize how infrequently we embrace the fact that God, the Father is the source of every people group. Missionaries tended to import Jesus in their own image, but the reality is that God is the Father of our black brothers and sisters. God is the Father and source of our Asian relatives. God is the source of our Hispanic family. The image of God is black and white, and every glorious color and culture that our minds can imagine and beyond. Every people group, with magnificent diversity has our heavenly Father as their source. 

This was the mystery that Paul so desperately wanted the church to grasp. When their eyes were opened, the mystery would be solved. Human divisions and barriers simply keep family members from sitting at the table together in holy fellowship. It’s time for the family to all come home and to find an equal seat at the table. 

The Father, is the Father of all, and this is the One to whom we are to pray. Humbly and in awe we kneel before our Abba, Daddy, who loves us. In humility before the Father, we admit our prejudices and ask for the Father to unite His children in holy love. This is where the world will stand back in awe and wonder when they realize how we love another. Welcome the whole family back home and provide equal access to the table. 

Prayer:


Lord, open our eyes to the beauty of every people group, each a member of your family. Amen. 

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