A People Overflowing
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Ephesians 3: 18-19 (NRSVA)
18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
I love learning about the differences between languages including how some things are much easier to say (and perhaps even to think) in one language than in another. We can exaggerate such differences of course. Nevertheless, the vocabulary, the phrases, even sometimes the grammar and syntax of a language can give us interesting insight into the cultures from which it has emerged.
One such difference I have always appreciated is that in Spanish there are two different verbs meaning ‘to know’. The verb ‘saber’ means to know something, like a bit of information or knowledge. The verb ‘conocer’ on the other hand more often means to know someone. In other words, one form of knowledge is relational and the other is not.
Paul tells us in this passage that the love of God surpasses knowledge. For Paul, relational knowledge will always trump informational knowledge. Furthermore, to ‘know’ God in a relational sense is not to simply accumulate facts about God. Instead it is to know on a deeper level what it is to love and be loved by God. That is the kind of knowledge which should overflow to those we meet.
O God, you search me and you know me
So say the psalms
Such knowledge is more than facts
More than the colour of my eyes
More than my achievements and my failures
You. Know. Me.
Help us to know you too
and to overflow with that loving knowledge.