Daily Devotion – March 10, 2021 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison
2:1 You were dead through the trespasses and sins
2:2 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.
2:3 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.
2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us
2:5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–
2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
2:7 so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God–
2:9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
2:10 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.
Human beings just cannot help but lose sight of God and God’s calling for us. We are very easily led into failing to do the right thing, or doing exactly the wrong thing. Paul says that the good things he wants to do he doesn’t manage to do, and instead he does the bad things he really doesn’t want to do.
I think most of us try to be good people, and some of us aren’t even tempted too often to do really nasty things. Just unhealthy or unhelpful things. Not evil things. Just things we know we really shouldn’t be doing. For example, if we are trying to live a healthy lifestyle and eat healthfully, we just cannot resist that ice cream calling to us from the freezer. That’s not evil. It’s just something we know is not good for us. Augustine called that disorderly love. That is the “sin” described in our passage for today.
But in this passage we also learn that God, who is rich in mercy and who loves us beyond measure, even when (especially when) we are choosing those wrong things, has compassion on us and saves us, making us alive together in Christ. Through Christ’s death, we are all resurrected and saved to be God’s people through eternity. No matter our disorderly choices that bring harm to us – God saves us.
And it is restated: BY GRACE we have been saved through faith – IT IS NOT OUR OWN DOING. Let’s not get cocky. This is pure gift from a God who loves us and who loves all human beings. So when we think of all the people that live in the community around us, and when we think about welcoming them into life and activity at St John, let’s remember that God already welcomes ALL of them as God’s beloved children, no matter what. God loves them, no matter what. We might think them weird. But God does not.
And we are just lucky that God is big enough to love us too.
Lord God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for letting us know your love for us now and forever. Thank you for nudging us to live our life now helping others to know they share our same loving heavenly parent, the God who loves human beings, no matter what. Amen.