The letter to the church at Ephesus was written to a community of Christ followers by Paul. Paul was writing to shape their identities in the gospel. He was so excited about writing to them about Jesus that he started his letter with a single, huge, sentence that contains seven verbs: blessed,chose, destined, bestowed, lavished, made known, and gather up.
…as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:10)
“Gather up” is the seventh and final verb of the “rocket verbs” in the opening chapter of Ephesians. This verb wraps everything together and brings about the conclusion.
What Paul is driving at with this verb is that everything and everyone is connected. The ESV translates this verb, “unite”, it is a bringing together.
Eugene Peterson says it this way,
There is not a single item in the practice of resurrection, this life of growing to maturity, that takes place impersonally, or generally, or in abstraction. (Practice Resurrection, 66)
All aspects of life are deeply connected by being in relationship with the Father. Jesus gathers it all up and everything matters. It’s all personal. It’s all right here and right now. And we are all in it together, with one another.
How does it make you feel to know that God is personally interested in you? How does it impact you to know that your whole is interconnected and gathered up with the whole of the church?