At Christmas it can be easy to get into the receiving mode. Although Christmas is really about the birth of Christ, it can be easy to slip into this mode. Today’s passage begins by listing all we receive in and through Christ. Through Jesus Christ we are blessed and adopted as children of God. In Jesus’ blood we find the forgiveness of our sins. Through Jesus’ perfect life and example we have come to know God’s will. In Christ, through a personal relationship with Him, we receive the gift of our eternal inheritance. In this list we find much that we “get” from Christ. But that us not the point of the passage.
Paul’s first point is to remind us why we receive so much. His answer is rooted solely in one thing: love. We are part of God’s family, washed clean in Jesus’ blood, and promised eternal life because God loves us deeply. It is a love that sees all of our flaws and sins and tendency to be independent yet loves us unconditionally anyway.
Paul’s second point is to reveal our correct response to all that God has given: to praise His name. In doing so we turn all the attention to God. God is at the center of it all and our praise needs to recognize and acknowledge God as our all in all. In doing so we become less and He becomes more. It is as it should be. To Him be all the glory and praise forever and ever! Amen.
Scripture reference: Ephesians 1: 3-14