July 10th, 2015 by Carl Buffington
I was tuning into my umpteenth movie on the long ride back from Africa when I heard the Beach Boys singing “Wouldn’t it be nice.” (By the way, you can hear and see the original recording of it on YouTube.) My mind drifted from the movie and before sleep caught me I began to fill in my own lyrics. (By the way -- Sara tells us to sort of do that with our praise on Sunday mornings, not so much fill in lyrics, but in the open moments to fill in our own words to the Lord, or listen for his words for us.) Wouldn’t it be nice to sing a new song to the Lord and hear him whisper your name?
As you can tell, all sorts of things came to me. Wouldn’t it be nice to discover a filthy rich uncle just died and left me an unfathomable fortune? Better yet…, oh well. We sang last Sunday asking God to “do it again.” Wouldn’t that be nice? If God would do again, all the miracles we read about in his story. Wouldn’t it be nice if every member of New Covenant was a prayer warrior, had a servant’s heart as big as all outdoors, wanted to do God’s will more than eat, we were all famished for his presence. You can fill the blanks. Wouldn’t that be nice if I could just do ________ or be__________. Wouldn’t that be nice __________________.
Well, maybe nice isn’t such a pipe dream. Maybe we don’t realize who we are when we are “in Christ Jesus.” Paul uses that phrase, “in Christ,” over and over again in his letter to the Ephesians. And in the reading for Sunday we get a glimpse of God’s vision for his church and what he has already done to realize it.
God’s vision, and that one matters a whole lot, is that from before time he saw a people uniquely set apart as a community to embody his divine hopes and promises, and to be a blessing to others. Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe it is.
It’s absolutely amazing, stunning really, what Paul tells us about us and our God in the epistle reading for Sunday (Ephesians 1.3-14.)
For example, our spiritual blessings include:
• Election to holiness
• Adoption as God’s sons and daughters
• Redemption and forgiveness
• A knowledge of God’s gracious plan to sum up all things in Christ
• The gift of the Holy Spirit – guarantee of our inheritance
• The hope of glory
That’s who we are in Christ!
Wouldn’t it be nice, not if that were true, because it is, but it would be more than nice if we really believed it and intentionally lived into it? It’s our God’s doing and it’s his vision, so with his Spirit’s help and a hand from one another – well, nice probably isn’t the word.
Every Spiritual Blessing to You All,