Something to think about
If you want a snapshot of the diversity of names that exists in your community, try going to an All Soul’s service or similar memorial where lists of those to be remembered are read aloud. Even in a settled, rural village in Cornwall, I’ve found myself learning to pronounce names with origins all over the world. Sometimes people know the history behind their ancestors’ names, but sometimes it has been lost to memory.
Paul presents God as the Father of all living things: the source of every nation, the origin of every language, the beginning of every history. In some families, God’s foundational role has been long consigned to oblivion. In others, his name is recognised and carried with joy. But whether known or not, God is the wellspring of life for all.
In the context of Ephesians, this point is particularly significant, as Paul expounds the reconciling of Gentiles and Jews through Christ. He describes them as ‘you who were far off and…those who were near’ respectively. But in truth neither group were strangers to the God who has always been for them Creator and Sustainer; as they came together in Christ, that reality became visible once again.