We conclude our Lenten lunch series today with this last look at Paul’s prayer for understanding.  We will continue serving until 2:00 so if you are in the area please come out and join us.  Also, we will have our traditional Maundy Thursday service of Word and Table tonight at 7:00 and our Good Friday Tenebrae service tomorrow at 7:00.  We hope that you will make plans to join us for each of these special commemorations of our Lord’s final days.

That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17b-19

We conclude our look at the dimensions of God’s love today by examining Paul’s desire that we know the depth of God’s love.  It would appear at the outset to be the easiest of the dimensions to understand.  The ability to perceive depth, after all, is something we learn to do unconsciously during infancy.  Yet, if we were honest we would all say that we sometimes do not accurately perceive the depth of some things.  I learned this first hand a few weeks ago when, while helping in our church’s Adopt-a-Highway clean-up effort, I found myself stuck in water halfway up my shin.  I had told my wife Eliza that I did not think the ditch was that deep just before I started sliding down the bank into a ditch that I soon found was over my head.  My inability to perceive the ditch’s depth left me mired in unyielding mud, wet, dirty and feeling totally helpless.  Indeed, if Eliza had not pulled me out I would  probably still be stuck and given our recent rains in even more water and muck than I was.  I cannot say that this was the first time I have found myself in such a predicament, however.  My inability to accurately perceive things has often caused me to make poor decisions that were contrary to the best that God had for me and I found myself stuck and helpless.  The great thing is that there is someone who can help us when we find ourselves in the ditch.  Jesus’ resurrection from the cold depth of His borrowed tomb insured forever that there was no depth so great that God’s love still could not reach us and pull us from.   What a comfort it is to remember that when we find ourselves in life’s ditches.  However, the eye troubles that first caused us to get in the ditch, can sometimes impair our vision from accurately seeing that is where we are.  Hence, Paul adds after praying that we grasp all these dimensions that we know intimately the love of God.  It is incumbent upon us to continually seek God’s help to not only get out of the ditches we can see, but to give us clear vision to see first that we are in the ditch.  Jesus came to enable us to see that we have stumbled off God’s path and to lead us back to God by the way of the Cross.  I pray that you will have the power to feel afresh the depth of God’s love as it reaches where you are and brings you back to firm ground.  I pray that you would use these next few days to experience again the great gift of God’s Son and through His passion to comprehend how wide and long and high and deep is God’s love for you and to feel it intimately in your heart.

Peace be with you.