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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Today’s Reading | Ephesians 2:1–10 

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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. (NRSV)

What might spiritual death look like? Feel like?

I remember a time of feeling dead spiritually. I felt disconnected from everything, a shade passing through the world, absorbed solely with myself and what I saw as my needs. I attended to those around me only in part, easily angered or irritated when I bumped up against others. At that time I didn’t know to be otherwise.

And this is the spirit of the world we live in; the powers of sin are all around us in the air, in what we hear and what we see, selling us images of ourselves that have nothing to do with how we might be in true relation to others but only with how we might appear; selling us ways to escape our restlessness, our discomfort with ourselves and our world, but these ways only act to make us more so.

But through the mercy of God I was made alive with Christ. I woke up; I could see—and this was none of my own doing but truly a gift. Since then the work of my life has been to live more and more as Christ made me, created for good works, for the way of life I was uniquely made for.

And even now, when I forget myself and my own inertia and the spirits of the world act to keep me dead, through the mercy of God I am brought again to life in Christ.

Great and giving God, keep me in full awareness of your saving grace, that I may most fully live into life in Christ and fulfill the path laid out for me. Amen.

Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life

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