Friday, May 14, 2010

Already There

Friday, May 14, 2010 -- Week of 6 Easter

Today's Readings for the Daily Office
(Book of Common Prayer, p. 963)
Psalms 85, 86 (morning)       91, 92 (evening)
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Ephesians 2:1-10
Matthew 7:22-27

There is an interesting phrase in the reading from Ephesians today.  The writer speaks of God's love toward us which reaches toward us in mercy even when "we were dead through our trespasses" and saves us.  Not only that, but -- this is the phrase that jumped out to me -- God also "raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

The compelling image sees us already enthroned with God in Christ.  We are residents of the divine realm, the author asserts.  Already.  Now.  "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God -- not the result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life."

The end is now, the writer claims.  We have been given God's gracious gift of love and we have been raised up and seated with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  Pure gift, given to us when, again in the words of Ephesians, we lived "in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else."  Despite our broken and failed condition, God chooses to love us, to save us, and to make us dwell with God in God's eternal presence.

That is an ontological shift, a shift of being.  We are invited to accept our new status.  Simply be the enthroned, beloved of God.  Nothing to prove, nothing to earn. 

From that perspective, from the perspective of one who is so loved by God that we are enthroned in heaven even now, the invitation is both simple and gracious.  Be who you are, and do good, for God has made us "for good works."  We are empowered to do good.  We don't have to earn anything or feel like we are under judgment or in a competition.  The end is already accomplished.  We are raised and seated with Christ.  So, simply be.

How different does life look from that perspective?  What might we do today, as we sit in heaven?

Lowell

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Audio podcast: Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week. Click the following link: Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
Morning Reflections is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.


Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

Visit our web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life
We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

2 Comments:

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Nancy H said...

I love this. I've thought about being - and living like - the beloved. But enthroned! Already there! It does change one's perspective. Thank you for reminding us of this passage. It will be interesting to see what it changes.

 
At 8:43 PM, Anonymous janet said...

Hi Lowell,

I did some scraping of old paint on an old house today - very genuine work and good for the house and the soul! The little scraper tool became very fluid in my hands - and then I come home to read about heaven. Yes, sometimes we can almost taste it, touch it, know it. Thank you - I'm going to pay close attention for evening prayer to the Ephesians.

Peace (now!), Janet

 

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