Ephesians 2:10 ESV “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”
If someone asked you today if you felt prepared for the future, how would you answer them? Maybe you would ask them to be a little more specific to know how to convey your thoughts in a cohesive manner. Have I bought all my Christmas presents? Am I ready for 2022 to be here? Have I prepared a nest egg for retirement? Do I know where I will go after I die?!? The list of options is long people, so any specified direction would be useful here!
Maybe a better way to ask the question would be, How well do you prepare for the future? …in any sense of the word. Do you think about it? Work at it? Set aside temporary conveniences for it? This week I had the pleasure as a volunteer police chaplain for our local law-enforcement department of lending my “acting” abilities to a day of live scenario training for our patrol division. All through the day officers would work through low-light situations in a darkened room to prepare for how things could possibly go down in personal interactions during the course of their shift. The trainers debriefed after each scenario to impart their experiential wisdom to the trainees in an effort to help them see what they could not, celebrate what they did correctly and learn from any mistakes that had taken place. And, I have to say that I will be preparing my speech for the Oscar Award I will undoubtedly be receiving for my uncanny acting abilities! Borderline professional if you ask me.
So, as I was thinking through this idea of preparedness, who else would my mind land on then God, who is the ultimate example of preparation. As Christmas Day quickly approaches, I have been sharing with my church these past few weeks how God had led prophets of old to share throughout the generations of how and where the promised Messiah would be born. What family lineage He would come through, as well as unique circumstances surrounding His birth. We’re talking about hundreds of years before Mother Mary was ever visited by the angel, Gabriel! God wanted humanity to be prepared for the light that would come into the world to lead them out of the spiritual and perpetual darkness they had found themselves in. I hope this Christmas that each of us are reminded of the truth that God is with us, which is what the word, Immanuel actually means.
But, I also want this verse that the Apostle Paul wrote to come to your mind during all the festivities with family and friends. The same God who prepared the world for the Word to become flesh (as the gospel of John says), is the same God who created each of you for His own pleasure to fulfill a life-changing task that only you can do. You are uniquely formed and fashioned to give your passion and dreams to a uniquely designed life that God infinitely finds pleasure in watching you live out! Another Bible paraphrase says it this way:
“He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
What you do everyday matters, even if you have forgotten or ever realized it. It matters to your Heavenly Father who created you for an awe-filled life. It matters to the people who are around you that love you. It even matters to those who may never know your name but have felt the care and compassion you demonstrated towards them. I pray that you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!