We are what God has made us and Jesus is our way of life

Ephesians 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.

Paul’s last line in today’s passage from his letter to the Ephesians would have been a nice alternative to the one I used with my children when they were young, Be true to yourself, as a way of guiding them through childhood to adulthood.

Of all the mantras and material I put before them, Be true to yourself engendered the most conversation between us and was the one that had the most traction through time. And as they got older, I added – to be true to yourself, you have to know yourself and who you were created to be.

Every human life comes from God.  I have written a few times about my guess that one day we will find a God-gene in human DNA.   Every human being is born with some innate (God-given) sense to seek meaning and at some point wonders why he or she is here.

We are what he has made us – human beings in God’s image.

That seeking leads some to God’s church – to the body of Christ.  At baptism – which God prepared beforehand to be humanity’s way of life – the answer to the question – why am I here – is answered.  To do good works as Jesus Christ did.

We are created to seek him and when we find him to participate in God’s plan and purpose for creation.  We are empowered by the Holy Spirit at baptism to see God’s imprint in scripture and in the natural world – in the Word and in the World.  And when we do – when we can identify God’s presence in a Word or in the World, we are to do good by it, cultivating the holy habits we see in Christ Jesus as a way of life.

Be true to yourself helped all of my now adult children make some tough, unpopular choices when they were young.  From discovering what they liked to read to what they wouldn’t compromise in themselves just to be part of a crowd.  The quip prompted each of them at different times to wonder out loud with me ‘who they really were’ and where they were headed.

But the quip won’t get them or anyone else close to their full purpose and a settled heart until the reality of baptism kicks in – until God’s grace begins to animate every cell of their being and in every sense.  Sight to see God in the face of the other (‘to love another person is to see the face of God’), in the crags and crevices of the ancient landscape, in the voice of God in their dreams and in God’s church, the feel of God from the inside out that brings warmth and peace and eases anxiety, the taste of God in meals made for them by another, and the fragrance of God in blooming gardens and coastal lands.

All of creation comes from God but not all of creation is purposed to do right by it – to do good works.  Only humanity is made first in God’s image to seek Him and then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, do good works for God.

Be true to self by being true to God.

Better said like this:

Ephesians 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.

Praise Him.

Friday Daily Office Readings:

AM Psalm 85, 86; PM Psalm 91, 92
1 Sam. 2:1-10; Eph. 2:1-10; Matt. 7:22-27


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