In the Office: Praise Be

Winter weather forced the cancellation of Sunday activities at my church yesterday. And even today, poor road conditions have cancelled school – which technically means that our church office is closed, too. Nevertheless, here I am: missing the interaction with my church family that Sunday normally affords – but grateful for the opportunity to be here and to be a part of the things that God is doing in this place. And one of my scripture lessons for this morning reminds me what it’s all about.

In today’s Daily Office from the Book of Common Prayer, Paul’s opening words to the Ephesians highlight the initiative that God has taken toward us:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…

  • Who has blessed us…with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3);
  • He chose us…to be holy and blameless in His sight (1:4);
  • He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ (1:5);
  • In Him we have redemption – the forgiveness of sins – in accordance with the riches He lavished on us (1:6);
  • He made known to his the mystery of his will: to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ (1:9-10).

I am continually reminded of how undeserving we are of such mercy and love. And yet – as the passage goes on to remind us – we were chosen so that we “might be for the praise of His glory” (1:12).

What difference could it make today if we embraced the truth of all that God has done for us? How might it change our perceptions of ourselves (and others) to live this week knowing that we’re blessed…chosen…predestined to be God’s children…redeemed and lavished with riches…shown God’s plan to bring unity to all things in Christ?

May we begin this week focused not on what we have to do – but on what God has done. And may we live today in praise of His glory.

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