Good Tuesday everyone. A reminder that we have our Culver's fundraiser tomorrow night. Hope to see everyone there.
Our scripture for Sunday is Ephesians 2:1-10. I highly suggest you go and read it for yourself, because it's all about grace, and grace, as one pastor wrote, is “the dearest piece of good news the church has for the world”.
Grace is so difficult to truly define, although you can usually tell when someone is being graceful to you and when they are not. I preached on grace last week and I'm still continuing to think about it today, so this scripture is oh so very timely.
What I want to invite us to think about and do today is to compare and contrast what being dead to sin and what being alive with Christ looks like.
I encourage you to take out a piece of paper and create two lists. You can label one list "Death" and the other "Life" and go through all 10 verses. Go ahead, I will wait, and let's see what you can find.
Are you making your list?
...you need to get your Bible out to do it....
...Having trouble fining Ephesians? It's in the New Testament, after Galatians...
Don't know where Galatians is, you say? Ok, here it goes (sing it with me) "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Acts to the Romans, Corinthians, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians... Ah, there is is...
...Now turn to chapter 2, verses 1-10. Got it? Good, now le's make our list....
(dum dee dum dum dum)
(whistling a tune)
(tapping a pencil on the desk)
Got it? Good. Ok, let's see what we have. Remember, everyone has a different translation of the Bible, so each person's answers will be slightly different and yet the same. Here is how my list reads
Death: dead through trespasses and sin, once lived, following the course of the world, following the ruler of the power of the air (what does that mean?), spirit of those who are disobedient, passions of flesh, desire and sense of flesh, children of wrath, like everyone else.
Life: God, rich in mercy, great love, loved, alive together with Christ (I like the word together), grace, saved, raised up, seated with him, heavenly places, immeasurable riches of grace in kindness, not our own doing: a gift, no boasting, made, created for good works, prepared way of life.
That's what I got, but it's not necessarily the right list. But I like what I see. After you made your list what did you find fascinating?
I see how death uses strong words that sound like life: passions, power, flesh and senses. How can passions be equated with not living? Isn't life lived without passion of some sort the same as not living at all? Or are there some passions we overdo to the point that it can lead to or cause death?
Then look at the words for life: who wouldn't want mercy, great love, gifts and the chance to be right next to Christ?
Think back to your life. Was there a time before you became fully aware of the presence of Jesus Christ in your life? What was that like? Was it a lot of living or a lot of death masquerading as life? Or was it just death?
What has having Christ in your life done for you? Has it brought more life, has it opened up or closed down your world? And does passion still exist? if so, what does that passion look like?
These are just some things to think about. Enjoy your week, step out into the sun, celebrate the life we share together in Christ.