Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ephesians chapter 1, verses 3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. (verses 3-4)

The Holy Spirit reminds us here that God chose us before the foundation of the world, that in the beginning, before there was a beginning, God knew your name. He chose you to be His child.

Stop a moment and consider the weight of that statement. Don't breeze past it. How can the realization of His choosing you change your life as that understanding seeps deep into your spirit?

The almighty, most holy Lord of creation, the One before whom angels fall prostrate and mountains and hills clap their hands, indeed, everything that has breath gives Him homage -- this Great One chose YOU as His child. And there is yet more, for we will see a few verses later in this chapter that God lavished His love on you!

St. Paul is not the only one through whom God reminds us of His love. We find similar illustrations, for example, in Psalm 139, and Micah 7 , Zephaniah 3 -- and then there are these words of Jesus during His High Priestly prayer in St. John 17 in which He tells us the Father loves us just as much as He loves Jesus.

Consider a while what that means!

No wonder St. Paul writes, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? If God is for us, who can be against us? What power in hell or on earth can keep Him from wrapping us in His arms and holding us to himself? What tribulation or distress or darkness can kidnap you from Him? (See Romans 8).

None. Nada.


That, my friend, is – as they say in some circles – “Shoutin’ stuff."

Questions for Reflection:

Part of St. Patrick’s prayer is:
1. "Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left."

Having been reminded in this study of God’s choice of you, meditate on these few words of St. Patrick’s prayer. See Christ before, behind, beneath, beside and above you. What images come to your mind? How can you hold them there, or at least revisit those images through your day?

2. Jump ahead to the next clause in this verse; you will find why we have been chosen: To be holy and without blemish before Him. What does that mean to you – to be holy and without blemish? Is it simply obedience to a list of do’s and don’ts? Give it some thought over the next few days. We will look more closely at that section next time.

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