"With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven & things on earth."
Magicians (illusionists!) are so popular. Most everyone loves to see tricks (illusions!). But what we love even more is to be told (or figure out ourselves - which rarely happens) HOW the illusion (!) was done (see Penn & Teller!). We want to know the mystery.
In Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, he "spills the beans" in the very first chapter. he divulges THE MYSTERY OF GOD'S WILL! (It turns out the "Hokey Pokey" was a bit off-base on what it was "all about"!) The Big Picture... the key to life... the End-all and Be-all of what God wants... is actually "to gather up all things in him." (What? You're more excited about putting your left foot in, and taking your left foot out?!?) Actually, that's a pretty amazing statement, if you think about it...
Paul didn't say God wants to gather "the faithful ones" unto him. He didn't mention any prerequisites or preconditions for being gathered. He didn't even hint that one needed to be interested in God to qualify. He simply said that God wants to gather ALL THINGS in Him. I'm reminded of the time Jesus was overlooking Jerusalem ("the city who kills the prophets," Jesus called it)... and he lamented, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem... how I longed to have gathered you under my wings, like a mother hen gathers her brood, but you wouldn't let me!" That's how God longs for ALL creation!
God created everything - including us. God's great mystery of his will is for all of us to be one. Together. Unity. Harmony. Will it happen anytime soon? Probably not. We seem to have the tendency as humans to repel one another (or at least really get on others' nerves!). But the GRAND PLAN of God is otherwise. In "the fullness of time," Paul says, God will gather up all tings in heaven & earth. Inclusive love... now THAT'S what it's all about (and it's not an illusion, either!). AMEN.