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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Today's Scripture 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)

The second chapter of Ephesians opens with some pretty tough words. Death, sin, wrath—these words present to us a hopeless humanity. We see and feel that hopelessness each time we turn on the news, read the paper, or scroll through our Facebook and Twitter feeds. From our current political climate to the crisis in Syria to the gun violence in our own beloved city, we are constantly reminded of the bleakness of our world.

And then we read verse four. We read about a God who is rich in mercy, who has a love for us that is incomprehensible, who will pull us out of the hopelessness. Do we deserve mercy and love like this? I know I sure don’t. Despite the ugliness that we sometimes contribute to our world, we still receive God’s great love, mercy, and grace.

How do respond to a gift like this? We go out into our world and share God’s love in every way possible. Help serve at a Sunday Night Supper. Volunteer with a local charity. Buy a sandwich for one of our homeless neighbors. We can show our gratitude to God by serving all of God’s children with love, kindness, and gentleness.

Gracious God, I am grateful for the unfailing love and grace that you give to me every moment of every day. Thank you for this gift. Guide me as I seek to help and serve others with love, kindness, and gentleness. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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