The pastor at my church used a sermon illustration at church this week that I can't stop thinking about. He was preaching from Ephesians 2:1-10, among other passages, but it's verse 10 that is holding my attention captive. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." The word "workmanship" in the original greek is the word for "poem". I had never heard this before. As a writer, this idea is precious to me. I have thought in terms of us being God's handiwork; He as the creator and man as the created, but never really considered myself as an artistic piece. I think of God as an artist when I see a breathtaking sunset or a flower-covered field, but dare I consider myself a work of art? Maybe even a masterpiece?
I fancied myself a poet at the tender age of 10 and continued the practice up into high school. I laugh now, however, when I dig out any of my old verses. At 43, I have both the distance and taste to recognize that I was far from a talented poet. I was merely smart enough to rhyme words and form them into coherent thoughts. It was a harmless pastime and helped me express my pre-teen angst. But since I still love the creativity of putting words to paper (or keyboard), this imagery opens up new angles from which I can see myself.
As a student, my favorite poet was William Wadsworth Longfellow. If you aren't familiar with his work, can I suggest "Evangeline" or "The Children's Hour"? I can see my life as one of his epic poems. God is weaving my days into a story. And the greatest part? The story isn't finished. Dravet Syndrome isn't the end of my story. Cancer isn't the end of my story. Sin is not the end of my story, and thanks be to Jesus, death will not even be the end of my story. My Savior, "the author [yes, AUTHOR] and perfecter of faith" (Hebrews 12:2) is writing new stanzas even now. And "The Song of Hiawatha" will have nothing on the length and magnitude of the story of Christ in me.
To get a full picture of the meaning of Ephesians 2:10, we need to look at the the next part. We are "created in Christ Jesus for good works". We are not poetry just for poetry's sake. Our lives are intended for good works. And our good works have a greater purpose. Matthew 5:16 says to "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Our good deeds = glory to God. The things we do should point others to Christ. But before our actions can have kingdom significance, we have to be "in Christ" as Ephesians 2 says. Do you know what it is to be "in Christ"? Do you have a relationship with Jesus? We all want our lives to count for something. In Christ, they count for EVERYTHING. If you aren't sure you are in Christ, please message me. I would love to talk with you about Him. In the hands of the greatest Author the world has ever known, the iambic pentameter of your verses will flow with the purpose of His goodness and love.