All the Prepositions

All is a word that is easily taken for granted. All of us, probably, misunderstand it depending on the context. Paul told the Corinthians that at the end of the world, God would be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). This is the final restoration and consummation of all things in God.

Halfway through his letter to the Ephesians Paul urged them to walk in a manner worthy of their calling, especially to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-4). Then he reminded them of their shared reality.

There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)

This is not referring to something waiting to be revealed as in Corinthians but instead to something important to be recognized now.

All of us who believe have one and the same Father. And that Father is over and through and in all. Does “all” mean the persons, or does “all” mean the universe, or does “all” refer to some other specific set of things?

It at least refers to all His children. He rules (over), He energizes (through), and He indwells (in) all of us. And that is true even though all of us are given grace for sake of doing different things (Ephesians 3:7-16).

So we all come to this one Table of communion, and we all have reasons to give thanks not just that we get to come, but also for all of our brothers and sisters in the body that are gentle, and patient, and bearing with us in love.

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