The Fourth Sunday in Lent
Ephesians 2: 1-10
A few months ago, I was thinking about sin. The burden of it, the destruction and injury sin brings to ourselves and others, and the shame that we carry when we sin, that causes us to resist spending time in prayer and adoration of our God the Father Almighty.
And then I imagined the sheer joy of being in God’s presence, in the lightened, heightened state of being sinless. The beauty of it, and just the absolute relief, seemed like the greatest gift. And knowing this state of being was promised to us, just what would I be willing to do to know such a life?
When Paul is writing to the holy people of Ephesus, he is offering this very peace and grace through Jesus Christ. Paul wants the Ephesians to know that God, who is rich in mercy, is offering his children kindness, and exceeding riches. And all freely bestowed by an unearned grace. Paul wanted these people to know an existence unburdened by sin, and to experience the perfect love offered by a living Christ, who provides us a living faith.
Paul desires this holy and blameless existence for all the generations that follow. He explains what will produce this precious gift of a life, free from our death in sin. The way shown is our devotion to our relationship to Christ, with an ever deepening desire to love, follow, and please Him with our inmost being. And this relationship produces an unshakable faith, not vulnerable to the storms and brokenness of this world.
Our season of Lent encourages us to set aside things that distract and preoccupy our hearts and minds, and to spend more time in God’s presence. All acts of worship, including prayer, meditation, praise, singing, fasting, walking the labyrinth, journaling, Bible study, or spending time marveling in His creation, enlighten us evermore about our loving and merciful God, and brings us into a fuller knowledge of Him. As we see Him, surely our knowing the Holy existence He secured for us through His son Jesus Christ, that sin will have no hold on us. We too may know what Paul pleaded with the people of Ephesus to know. It is your birthright, your promised inheritance, given freely to you right now. At this very moment.