Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "From Ocean Unto Ocean"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 1:3-4,7a – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. In him we have redemption through his blood. (NRSV)
When I think back on my childhood, I remember playing all kinds of games with neighbourhood children, like baseball, British Bulldog, and Red Rover. Many of the games began with choosing sides.
I can still remember the agony of waiting to be chosen for a team. I wasn't the tallest or the strongest or the fastest candidate. In fact, I was more of a clumsy runt of a little girl. I wasn't the most popular or most attractive prospect for either side wanting to put together a winning team. So often, I was left on the sidelines until the very end of the selection process.
I know what it is like to feel like an outsider and wanting desperately to be chosen.
Perhaps that's why I treasure today's verses from Ephesians that remind us that God chose us before the foundation of the world. Not only were we chosen for love, but we were also chosen for redemption.
This word "redemption" is a term that we don't often hear these days, unless it pops up in a new movie or a hit tune. The original term comes from slave market days, when slaves were bought and sold. If a person bought a slave, and then set the slave free, that person would be considered "redeemed".
The good news for those of us who are in Christ is that we have been redeemed. The price of our freedom has already been paid. From whatever enslaves us, from whatever keeps us from joyous and abundant living, we have been redeemed. The power of destructive habits and the power of sin have been broken. We now belong to God and come under God's loving protection.
Unfortunately, sometimes things get in the way of our hearing and believing this truth. Feelings of unworthiness and feelings of inadequacy sometimes have a way of creeping up on us as echoes from our past.
Thank God, we do not have to wait on the sidelines of life to know that we are of infinite worth to God. In Christ, each and every one of us is a beloved child of God, chosen for love and redemption from the beginning of time. We are God's first-round draft picks!
And that is good news indeed.
Prayer: Loving God, thank You for the encouragement of Your Word and for choosing us to be Your very own. Help us to see the worth in each and every one of Your children, each and every day. Amen.