Friday Craig and I were heading home after a lovely concert, and he asked me how I was enjoying data.
?Hmmmm? I thought I would have data when I got the new phone.
No, you’ve had it since the day I told you about it; we’ve paid for it.
I had not had data on my phone because wifi at work and at home generally provided the internet access I need at least until I am lost or something on the car breaks. At any rate, Craig, always the careful budget manager found a cheaper plan that let us both have data and new phones, but the new phones have not arrived yet. Somehow I had it in my mind that the data and the new phones would coincide.
I had access to all that the internet brings. Books, quick answers, posting quickly while waiting for a kid in a lesson, etc, but I didn’t know or at least I didn’t understand what I had access to. So I missed out on the benefits of access to knowledge, ease, connectivity, and communication.
Yesterday at church we considered how Love Works in prayer, and the Scripture was Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23 where an imprisoned Paul thanks the Lord for the faith and love of the Ephesian followers of Christ, remembers them and asks the Lord to grant them His Spirit of wisdom and revelation and to enlighten the eyes of their hearts so they can know, deeply know, the hope, riches, and power available in Christ and experienced through His body the church.
As I thought about the verses, I realized that I have had access all along to the
- hope in the surety of God’s calling
- riches in the varied and meaningful relationships of those who have answered God’s call,
- power of Christ as seen in His resurrection and reign and infilling of His body, the church.*
Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl, and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for joy?
Power. Greater power than we can imagine, abandoned, as the Word knew the powerlessness of the unborn child, still unformed, taking up almost no space in the great ocean of amniotic fluid, unseeing, unhearing, unknowing. Slowly growing, as any human embryo grows, arms and legs and a head, eyes, mouth, nose, slowly swimming into life until the ocean in the womb is no longer large enough, and it is time for birth.
Madeleine L’Engle in Bright Evening Star, p. 4-5
Power, as the Advent season so strongly reminds us, laid aside for a time in the most humbling of ways, so that I, so that all humanity who wants, can know the Creator of heaven and earth. I’ve had access all along to all that He brings in His goodness, wisdom, generosity, and strength. But I didn’t know or at least I didn’t understand what I had access to. So at times I’ve missed out on the benefits of access to knowledge, ease, connectivity, and communication.
God, who is all power, gave away power! And yet the ability to give power away, lavishly, lovingly, is greater than hanging onto power as human beings try to do. With us power is control. With God it is freedom.
Madeleine L’Engle in Bright Evening Star, p. 14
I am not on the outside looking in at the Kingdom of God; I am His daughter with open access that Jesus has already paid for. He desires I access His presence with freedom, ease, and confidence. I’ve had access to Him and to all the benefits of knowing Him all along; it’s been paid for.
* I am aware of the complexities and challenges of “church” – those musings for another day, but I don’t want to lose sight of His intentions and what He is working towards within those who call His Name.