Yesterday’s Epistle reading was from Ephesians Chapter 2, a familiar passage about being saved by faith and not by works.
I noticed something though that I had read but not really noticed before…
I’m used to the King James Version of verse 10: ” For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
At church we use the New Revised Standard Version where the same verse reads “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.”
Now I have a degree in Medieval Studies and don’t usually think that I miss much by reading in the King James but the phrase “our way of life” really struck me.
Good works are to be the way we live. Not as a means of buying God’s love or approval. Paul has just spent a bunch of time making sure we understand this, but because God has created good works for us from before the point at which we were aware that we ought to be following God!
How exciting! God made the good things that we do for each other, for us to do! Even seemingly mundane things like wiping noses, changing diapers, and washing feet are gifts from God for us (in particular) to do. How that changes the way I interact with these often repetitive tasks. I have been given the “good deed” of making sure that S has ironed shirts in his closet every morning. Ironing is no longer a drudgery to be done week after week, but a gift given to me as part of my particular way of life.
How can I complain about the things I do every day when I realize that they are gifts? Shouldn’t I rather be celebrating? And how do I both model and express this to the children?