Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. - Ephesians 3:20-21 (NRSV)
We’re still early enough in the new year that this blessing may be just the thing to write in your journal—or on your heart.
Possibly you recently did your own personal year in review and noted the things you promised yourself you would do or be in 2019 and … well, somehow, you fell short. Or maybe you have a set of earnest New Year’s resolutions for 2020 that are just now beginning to seem more a burden than a blessing.
Either way, here’s good news. It’s not all on you, not all up to you. The everlasting God “is able.” We could stop right there. God is able. There’s a lot in those three words.
But Paul doesn’t stop there. He continues: “God is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.” Hearing that, it’s like the day has suddenly opened at the top. We may have our little lists (important to be sure), but God is able—able to accomplish abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine.
Which leaves Paul in a stunned, God-ward shout of praise and wonder. “To God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”
Gregory of Nyssa told us that, “Concepts create idols, only wonder comprehends anything.” Paul ends his blessing in wonder and invites us to go there with him as we begin this new year.
Enable me, Holy One, to wonder beyond shortcomings or resolutions to you who are able, able to accomplish abundantly so much more than I ask or imagine. Amen.
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. His newest book, Useful Wisdom: Letter to Young (and Not So Young) Ministers will be published early next year by Wipf and Stock. You can read and sign up for his blog at www.anthonybrobinson.com.