All Saints Episcopal Church
     
 
 
We Americans put much emphasis on self-help
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            We Americans put much emphasis on self-help. One of Emerson’s most popular essays was entitled “Self Reliance.” I am sure you remember hearing or saying, “MOTHER, I’d rather do it myself!” We like to think of ourselves as “self-made” men and women. Just walk through the “Self-Help” section of the bookstore – or the self-help sections of Ibooks or Kindle or Amazon  – and you will see the interest in doing it ourselves.

 

          Looking at the beginning of Ephesians, I find St. Paul speaking clearly about something we have not done ourselves, have not achieved by hard work, earnest and sincere effort, sly or sneaky maneuvering or by burning the midnight oil. He is speaking about our salvation, our relationship with God.

          The letter opens, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God has “blessed us.” How so? God “chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world,”…”He has destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ…he freely bestowed on us… In him we have redemption…forgiveness...he has made know to us the mystery of his will…”

 

          Note who has done all this, note where the action is, with God, not with us. 

We gather in church on Sunday to praise God, we try to live our lives Monday through Friday, not in order to get somewhere with God but because, in Christ, we have already arrived. We bless God here on Sunday in church in song and we bless God on weekdays with our deeds, because God has blessed us, chosen, adopted, redeemed and forgiven us.

 

          When someone gives you a gift, you say, “Thank you.” Think about living our lives as Christians in thanksgiving and thanks to God. We are the only song to God that many may hear.

          I’m glad I stopped and read this passage; to be reminded that it is, indeed, all about God. And I am thankful. I pray that you are too.

 

Hugh+

 

 


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