Ephesians 1:3-14 (NRSV)
3 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, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 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, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 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; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.
All the rain reminds me of these words from Wendell Berry's poem, Meditation in the Spring Rain:
In the April rain I climbed up to drink of the live water leaping off the hill, white over the rocks. Where the mossy root of a sycamore cups the flow, I drank and saw the branches feathered with green. The thickets, I said, send up their praise at dawn.
The Ephesians text for this Sunday is one long, sweeping sentence in Greek, an extended song of thanksgiving and praise to God for all that God has done for us in Jesus Christ. It is also a summary of the faith that has nurtured the people of God. The text is about God who loves us so much that He sends down His love and blessings like April rain. Like the rain we've had over the last few days, God's love is almost more than we can absorb.
Easter and spring remind me that we are a blessed people. The writer of Ephesians clearly recognizes and lifts up the blessings that are gifted to those who are in Christ. As followers of Jesus we must decide if we are going to live as people who are blessed by an ever present and loving God. We have to decide what we are looking for in life. It's like this story told by Leonard Sweet:
Two birds that fly over the California desert are the vulture and the hummingbird. All the vulture can see is rotting meat because that's all it looks for. It thrives on that which has died. But the hummingbird ignores the carcasses and the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, it looks for the tiny blossoms of the cactus flowers. It buzzes around until it finds the colorful blooms, almost hidden from view by the rocks. Each bird fins what it is looking for. We must decide what it is we are looking for in life. Will we be followers who look for the negative and darkness or will we be people of the resurrection, followers of Jesus Christ, who look for the blessings of God? Think about it.