Ephesians 1:4-10 (NRSV)
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.
If you happen to walk past St. Paul’s House located on 335 W51 Street, New York, NY, you’ll see a relic from the past, a neon sign in the form of a cross. On one side it reads, “Sin will find you out,” and on the other side, “Get right with God.” I’ll admit that most of us have a lot of work to do when it comes to living the kind of life we should be living as a follower of Jesus Christ. In all of our striving, self-correcting, and constant reminder of our failures we forget that God has already made things right through His Son, Jesus.
We get so caught up in our disappointments, striving, and self-centeredness that we forget that it is not about what we do or accomplish, it’s about God and God’s presence in our lives reflected in our words and actions. The Apostle Paul tells us that God has already given us all we need to live and love in the world.
Yes, we live in a world that tends to make us feel afraid, powerless, and overwhelmed, but Ephesians tells us that we have been given all that we need to be a blessing. I don’t think Rosa Parks was thinking about changing the world when she refused to give up her seat on the bus. What she learned through her praise of God and her knowledge that she was an adopted child of God was that she had the same right as anyone else to sit in her seat. She knew that the God she praised was a God of justice and the God of all people. She understood what God had already done for her. She knew that her God was a present God and a God who loved all of his children. She chose to represent that in her life and actions. Think about it.