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Sunday, June 15, 2014

EPHESIANS 3 ...THE LOVE OF GOD





THE LOVE OF GOD

In Ephesians 3, the apostle, Paul gives us a simple and concise explanation of the 'mystery' (verse 9) of the relationship between God and His followers.  He expounds upon what he says in Ephesians
2: 19...that we are 'fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.'   Paul continues in 3:  8 and 9:
         'To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this gift of the grace of God was given that I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ and make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things, through Jesus Christ.'  So that we, 'being rooted and grounded in love, through God's Holy Spirit, may be able to comprehend with all the saints, the width and depth and length and height...to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.'

Even though the Jewish people were and are God's chosen people, He extended His grace to us from the beginning of time...that we may be 'partakers of the kingdom of God, through Christ.'  Our minds may never, here on earth, be able to take in the 'length and breadth and height' of God's love for us ~ but surely we can understand that this is great and awesome and boundless, the love of God.


 

I am reminded of a hymn, entitled,' The Love of God,' the lyrics to which are as follows:



                              THE LOVE OF GOD
1.The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled, and pardoned from his sin.
 
Refrain
O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure the saints’ and angels’ song.
 
2.When years of time shall pass away, and earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray, on rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure, all measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—the saints’ and angels’ song.
Refrain
 
3.Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above, would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
Refrain

I always felt that the third verse so beautifully describes the extent of the love of God...and yet...it still cannot... completely tell the story of God's love for man.  Words, which I love, fall short of explaining the extent of God's love for us!  But we can glean the essence of that love in
Ephesians 3.


 
 
POST NOTE:
 
"Words: Fred­er­ick M. Leh­man; he wrote this song in 1917 in Pas­a­de­na, Cal­i­fornia, and it was pub­lished in Songs That Are Dif­fer­ent, Vol­ume 2, 1919. The lyr­ics are based on the Jew­ish poem Had­da­mut, writ­ten in Ara­ma­ic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Ne­hor­ai, a can­tor in Worms, Ger­ma­ny; they have been trans­lat­ed in­to at least 18 lang­uages.
One day, dur­ing short in­ter­vals of in­at­ten­tion to our work, we picked up a scrap of pa­per and, seat­ed up­on an emp­ty le­mon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pen­cil, add­ed the (first) two stan­zas and chor­us of the song…Since the lines (3rd stan­za from the Jew­ish po­em) had been found pen­ciled on the wall of a pa­tient’s room in an in­sane asy­lum af­ter he had been car­ried to his grave, the gen­er­al opin­ion was that this in­mate had writ­ten the epic in mo­ments of san­ity.
Frederick M. Lehman, “History of the Song, The Love of God,” 1948
Music: Fred­er­ick Leh­man; ar­ranged by his daugh­ter, Clau­dia L. Mays (MI­DI, score).

In reference to the writer of the third stanza, I have researched the circumstances under which people were admitted to insane asylums during that period of time:


"Many of these patients were epileptic or suffered from other chronic diseases, and had nothing wrong with them mentally at all."        
Georgia's Mental Institution, Central State Hospital, Milledgeville, Ga. by Rhetta Alcumotsu, Yahoo Contributor Network

"If a woman grew too old the husband could have her committed and would take a younger wife. Menopause or PMS was reason enough to ship her off to a facility. Once a woman was committed the asylum, it was as if she died, and usually an obituary was published.
 A landlord could have a tenant committed for not paying rent, being outlandish in behavior or dress. A boss could do the same thing to an employee, if the employee was slow or a 'bad employee'. People could be committed if they were poor. One could be committed for being a alcoholic, person with a short fuse, or anyone who deviated from the normal things society thought was right. This goes for both men and woman and this is very sad indeed to be admitted to an insane asylum for such a thing.
Children who acted out or had mental or physical disabilities were also placed in mental asylums. Imagine a blind child or a child with a speech problem being locked away for his or her entire life because of a birth defect."   Amy Browne Yahoo Contributor Network

 

 
 c 6/2014 Carol A. Castagna