Paul explains to the believers in Ephesus that God is in control today, tomorrow, and forever. The apostle explains that God has a plan to adopt each person in Jesus Christ and encourages the Ephesians to surrender themselves to God’s perfect will and find new life in Christ.

We often wonder how we can know God’s will for our life. God planned to send Jesus to live on earth in order to gather all things from heaven and earth in Christ. God’s plan for the church is everlasting. The church becomes the tool of our inward transformation and redemption by God. God desires countless blessings for us and intervenes in our life experiences through the Holy Spirit.

We are created in God’s image so that we have a close relationship with our Creator. The responsibility of a faithful and obedient church is to serve God and to praise God’s beauty revealed in Christ. All who are baptized by the Holy Spirit and have received inner transformation are incorporated into the church, destined and appointed for God’s work.

The church has been granted a vital place in the divine creation, a place where God is served and praised, the proper role of all believers. Additionally, when we read that we are to “live for the praise of his glory,” we know that we have servant work to do. Very simply, we praise God best by loving and caring for God’s people. God’s plan is made absolute by the work of the Holy Spirit within us, and God approves us as children of God. Thus, we continue to trust and have faith and hope in God, no matter what trials we may experience.

God, help us to be part of your persuasive and gracious plan to treat the transgressions of your people with your grace. We want to learn how better to be instruments of your grace so that you may bring healing to a troubled world. Amen.

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Lectionary Week
December 27–31, 2021
Scripture Overview

The readings for this week are full of praise for God’s gift of Jesus Christ and an emphasis on human helplessness apart from God. Jeremiah portrays an exiled people’s despair turning to joy at their restoration. The psalmist proclaims God’s power to protect and provide for God’s people, and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians explains that God’s will from the beginning has been for our adoption as God’s children through Christ. Praise and thanksgiving to God are the common and appropriate responses to all these mighty acts of God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 31:7-14. How have you been restored by God’s kindness?
Read Psalm 147:12-20. In what ways have you experienced God strengthening and restoring you?
Read Ephesians 1:3-14. How do you set your hope on Christ? How do you live differently because of that hope?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”

Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.