SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 2:1-7
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.
Adam E. Eckhart offers his beliefs that “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.”
I agree with Eckhart here that the church is called to transform the powers of this world, for me specifically to work for justice, ending oppression, and opening our hearts to loving all people. My only caution is that if taken certain ways, both this passage and Eckhart’s words could be used in abusive ways. One could read them and put forth the idea that Christians are superior to everyone else and it is our duty to rule the world and “fix the problems,” which is not what I believe is the intention of this passage or Eckhart’s words. Rather, we are called to speak truth to power, to call out injustice and oppression, to work to care for the widow, the orphan, the exiled, the foreigner, etc.
In the midst of the pandemic, the following question may be one that you answer differently right now than you would have answered six months ago. In that light, try to answer the question twice, once thinking about what your response would have been before the pandemic, and then again thinking about your response in the midst of this pandemic. In what ways are you and your church involved in God’s redemptive ethic?
Loving and merciful God, saved through faith, we offer our lives to you for all that we may be and do in this world. Guide our hearts and our words that we may share the Good News with everyone we encounter through what we say and what we do. Amen.