Text – Ephesians 2:1-10:
1 You were dead through the trespasses and sins 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. 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.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ[a]—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 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.
In this text we begin to sense the shift in mood which Lent brings. We have been thinking about penitence and change (once we were dead), but this now gives way to joy (now we are alive with Christ). What joy in knowing what God has been doing since the beginning of time.
But there is more! First, God is the subject of the action described in 2:4-7. “Out of the great love with which he loved us….” “…made us alive, together with Christ…” “….and raised us up with him…” God initiated ALL of this.
Second, this action is all demonstrated toward US. It is plural, not singular. God’s work is directed toward a people rather than a single person. We are now part of a whole cosmic community of people who have been rescued by God through Christ.
In Lent, we can begin to also think about what this means to us now. As Paul said, “We see what God has made us, created in Christ for good works.”
Father in Heaven, we thank you and praise you for the work that you have done through Christ. Light has come, and we can see the way you have laid out for us on the road of redemption. May we not succumb to the darkness of other ways and seek only you. In Jesus’ name we pray this. Amen.