“This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, . . .” (Ephesians 3:6–7)
We read in Matthew’s gospel of how the Magi rejoiced exceedingly with great joy when they found the infant King Jesus Saint. We get a sense of that type of joy and worship in this doxology from Saint Paul as he rejoices exceedingly with this song of praise. Paul is overcome with emotion as he acknowledge how awesome God is by enumerating the great things He has done. The reason for Paul’s doxology was his reflection upon the great mystery the Lord had now revealed that the Church, not the nation of Israel or the Jewish people, is now the Kingdom of God. The Lord has brought salvation to all human beings, all men and women, gentile as well as Jew by faith in Jesus. By faith all are made full members of the Kingdom of God without them becoming Jews.
This was a radical and offensive concept for the Jews of the day for they despised Gentiles out of their way to exclude them from worship. Even those legalistic Jews who had come to faith in Christ insisted that Gentiles had to become Jews by rite of circumcision as well as keep the Mosaic law in order to be true members of the Kingdom of God. Yet Paul preached that God had granted full sonship to all who believed, full rights and privileges as citizens of the Kingdom of God. This truth was indeed light in the darkness of a world enslaved to sin and Satan.
In the darkness of our world, the Church shines as a beacon of glorious light shining with the truth of the gospel of salvation in Jesus alone. But many in our world try to ignore or extinguish that light by seeking to excuse or redefine sin as something good and acceptable. Our many cultural icons, poets, singers, celebrities all desire and preach harmony, peace, love, equality, tolerance and fellowship among all men and women. And all the harmony people seek, all the love and respect they desire is found the Kingdom of God, in the church. In the church all find forgiveness of sin by faith in Jesus.
We believers are that light in the darkness of this sin-affirming, God-rejecting world, not the cultural icons that even we believers admire. Its is we who are called to shine the light of Jesus, the truth of the gospel everywhere we go to everyone we meet. In that we can rejoice exceedingly for now salvation has come to all people.