“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19
How can we know the unknowable? Certainly, if anyone deserve to be at the centre of this seeming paradox, it’s God. The face it, we can keep getting closer, but however much understanding and experience we gain of God’s love, there’s always more to understand. This passage describes a process, of first being rooted and established in love, like a little seedling, and then to be given the power to grasp the dimensions of God’s love. Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers explains it clearly: the grammar of the Greek verb tenses gives the true meaning, which ‘seems to be that they may know from time to time, as each opportunity offers, what must in its entirety pass all human knowledge’. Lately I think I’ve been making progress in Knowing in my gut this love that surpasses head knowledge. What helps is when those around us show us love, but ultimately we have to be able to receive it.In the same way as we can’t receive God’s peace if we are determined not to trust him, we can only receive God’s love if we are prepared to let him be real to us, and not to argue with him that we are surely undeserving. Of course we are…yet his compassions are new every morning.