12/31/20

Our scripture this week is Ephesians 1:3-14, taken today from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

Paul uses the word “inheritance” in the heavenly sense in this passage. An earthly inheritance is a gift from one generation to the next intended to provide for them after the passing of their elders. Our heavenly inheritance is a gift from God the Father to provide for us eternally.

In those days an inheritance was a means and an obligation to care for the family as the elders had done, not merely wealth given after their passing. Our gift from God carries a similar responsibility: to share His love and care for His children. Our gifts are not our own but a blessing from Him to go and do in His name.

Jesus came to teach us the joy of that connection, that our task is both serious and wonderful. He has prepared us a place with Him according to God’s promise. Until He calls us home, we are to continue His work, ensuring all hear the message of love God sends us.

Loving Lord, we are glad to be part of what You are doing in creation. Help us to live in You that all people may know the blessing of Your inheritance to us. Amen.

Published by Pastor Doug

UMC pastor, Retired USAF, husband, father, grandfather

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