SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 2:1-10
From Death to Life
1 You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3 All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
Theologian Adam E. Eckhart poses, “A redemptive ethic calls the church to begin the actual process of critiquing and transforming the powers. As Christ’s body, we seek to continue Christ’s work of rising from trespasses and sins and being made alive together again. This work begins within the church.”
This passage outlines a core part of our faith – that we are saved by grace through faith, but not by anything we have done to earn that grace, it is a gift from God. But it doesn’t mean that we can just sit back and wait around for something to happen. We are still called by God to be the church, the body of Christ. Verse nine says that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works”. We were made to do good works – to love our neighbors, to free the oppressed, to feed the hungry, to care for the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. Christianity is not a spectator sport.
During this time of social distancing, how are you seeing ways for the church, Christ’s body, to do that work of “rising from trespasses and sins and being made alive together again”?
God of grace and mercy, we give you thanks for that grace you give that saves us, a gift of you, not anything we have done or earned ourselves. We ask this day for strength during trying times, for comfort when we feel alone, for healing of a world struggling with health. Guide us always, but especially during these days that we might follow the guidelines given to us to stay safe and healthy. Help us to fight the temptations to self indulge in ways that can bring harm to others. Lead us as the body of Christ for the world to continue to be a center of love for all. Amen.