Each week, I take some time to reflect on one of the lectionary passages for the upcoming Sunday. This week for the fourth Sunday of Lent, we're going to look at the New Testament passage: Ephesians 2:1-10.
I have stared at this week's lectionary passages for three or four days now and I just couldn't write anything. It's not that I was struggling with the passages. The gospel passage is an excerpt from the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus which includes arguably the most famous Bible verse. In that same text, Jesus references the Old Testament passage for this week: the Bronze Serpent to which the Israelites looked when they were bitten by a poisonous snake (all of which makes more sense in context).
But I just had nothing. I felt empty and I still kind of feel empty. I'm tired. I'm acutely aware of my shortcomings. I have nothing to lean on, but this passage this week.
"But when it comes to mercy , God is rich! He had such great love for us that he took us at the very point where we were dead through our offenses, and made us alive together with the king. (Yes, you are saved by sheer grace!) He raised us up with him, and made us sit with him--in the heavenly places, in King Jesus! This was so that in the ages to come he could show just how unbelievably rich his grace is, the kindness he has shown us in King Jesus.
How has this all come about? You have been saved by grace, through faith! This doesn't happen on your own initiative, it's God's gift. It isn't on the base of works, so no one is able to boast. This is the explanation: God has made us what we are are. God has created us in King Jesus for the good works for the good works that he prepared, ahead of time, as the road we must travel."
-Ephesians 2:4-10 (Kingdom New Testament)
When I cannot write, when I cannot even seem to travel that road that I must walk, when I feel like God may not want to have anything to do with me, I cling to grace. God loves us greatly and in spite of our shortcomings and failures, gives us the opportunity to be part of this beautiful family. When we are dead, God brings us back to life. It saves us. It continues to save us. Amen.