Wide and Long and High and Deep
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—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 3:14-19
Enjoy the following excerpt taken from "An Ocean of Grace: A Journey to Easter with Great Voices from the Past" by Tim Chester.
In today’s prayer, Charles Spurgeon marshals all his considerable powers of oratory to express the love of Christ…Spurgeon tries to quantify Christ’s love by measuring the distance between what he came from and what he came to: “from the height of majesty in glory to the depths of shame on earth”. But Spurgeon, like Paul in Ephesians 3, readily admits that describing Christ’s love cannot be done. Yet, even though Christ’s love is something that “surpasses knowledge”, Paul still prays that his readers might “know this love”.
We will never bottom out Christ’s boundless love. But we need to see more and more of his love. Every time we sin, we need to appreciate afresh this love that welcomes sinners. Every time we suffer, we need to appreciate afresh this love that mysteriously works all things for our good. Every time we face temptation, we need to appreciate afresh this love that captures our hearts.
Your love, oh Christ,
in its sweetness,
surpasses all human comprehension.
Where shall language be found
which shall describe
your matchless love,
your unparalleled love,
towards the children of men?
Your love is so vast and boundless
that, as the swallow skims the water
without diving into its depths,
so all descriptive words merely touch the surface of your love,
while depths immeasurable lie beneath.
For your love took you
from the height of Majesty in glory
to the depths of shame on earth.
Who, Lord Jesus, can tell of your majesty?
When you were enthroned in the highest heavens,
you were very God of very God.
By you were the heavens made
and all the hosts within them.
Your own almighty arm upheld the spheres.
The praises of cherubim and seraphim
perpetually surrounded you.
The full chorus of the hallelujahs of the universe
unceasingly flowed to the foot of your throne.
You reigned Supreme above all your creatures,
God over all, blessed for ever.
Who can tell the height of your glory?
And who can tell how low you descended?
To become a man was something;
to become a man of sorrows was far more;
to bleed, and die, and suffer –
these were much for you, who were the Son of God.
But to suffer such unparalleled agony –
to endure a death of shame
and desertion by your Father –
this is a depth of condescending love.
The most inspired mind
must utterly fail to fathom this love.
Here is love!
And truly it is love
that surpasses knowledge.
Oh, let this love fill our hearts with adoring gratitude
and lead us to practical manifestation of its power.
Charles Spurgeon parentheses (1834 – 1892)