Five Minute Friday:: HOPE

It’s Five Minute Friday time again!  (Only a day late this time.)  Each week I try to join the Five Minute Friday community and write on the one-word prompt given for that week.  (Confession: I took a bit longer than 5 minutes this time.)  Always insightful to see what comes out during these moments.  This week’s word: 

HOPE

I hope to become a better, wiser, more Christ-like, more patient, more peace-filled, more helpful, more loving, more God-hearing, more mature person as each day and week and month and year march on.

I want to keep growing and, layer by layer, become a more healed and whole and love-filled person.

And as I was studying Ephesians this week, I discovered something I had never noticed before.  (Don’t you just love how, no matter how long you’ve known God, no matter how many times you’ve read certain passages in the Bible, you can always find something new, something profound, something that causes you both to rejoice and to marvel at how very vast, how very unpredictable, how very incomprehensible God is?  There really is no getting to the bottom of Him.  No boxing Him up and tying a tidy little bow around Him.  He is infinitely bigger and more complicated and smarter and greater than anything I could ever wrap my mind around.)

Anyway.  Back to Ephesians.

eph 2

You see, in Ephesians 2:19-22 I was struck by a series of shifts in the verb tense of the language.  At times, our identity was described in the past tense, then right after it was described in the present and/or future tense— sometimes even in the same sentence!  This was so confusing at first to me that I simply couldn’t move on until I had wrestled through it and gotten some clarity from God on it.

Here’s the gist of what I discovered:

Basically, this chunk of verses has to do with our identity and the reality of who we are versus who we were versus who we will be.

  1. We used to be far away from God— foreigners and strangers to His promise, His hope, His peace.
  2. We are now fellow citizens with God’s people— members of God’s household.  We’ve been adopted by Him into His family.
  3. God’s household is built on the foundation of the apostles & prophets, with Jesus as the chief cornerstone. We have entered into something that is already complete.
  4. In Jesus, the whole building (of God’s household) is joined together.  We, all the parts and pieces of His household, are bonded by Him.  He is the One that keeps us fastened together.
  5. We— His kids, His Body, His household— are rising to become a holy temple… And we are also being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His spirit.

Do you see all those changes in verb tenses?  IS BUILT suggests completion.  Same with IS JOINED.  And then there’s a shift: RISES TO BECOME implies both the present and the future tenses.  ARE BEING BUILT…TO BECOME also are referring to both the present and the future.

So… what does this mean?

Well, after wrestling with this all for quite a bit yesterday, here is what I finally realized:

Regarding our identity and our adoption process: yes, a bunch of the building process has already been done.  By God Himself.  As He said on the cross, “It is finished.”

But/And now… now we His kids need to lay claim more and more to the truth of His peace, to the unity of His complicated and amazing Body.  We need to continue to cling to the covenant of the promise, to continue to hold tight to His hope and His nearness and all that His kingdom is and offers.

We are works in progress.  Yes, we’ve been adopted.  We’ve been transformed.

And yet… we are still being transformed.  Still growing.  Still figuring out how to live out our faith in this corrupted, twisted world filled with sin and different personalities and wounds and hurts and challenges.

We ARE HIS… and yet we are also BECOMING MORE LIKE HIM.  Becoming more unified with His other kids.  Becoming more godly.  Becoming more loving.  Becoming more mature.  Becoming more knowledgable.  Becoming more like who He designed us to be when He first conceived of us before the world began.

We ARE His kids.  We are part of His household.

Yet we still are growing.  Still figuring it all out.

Perfection is not a requirement to be His kid.  Just a willingness to accept HIS perfection and all the work HE HAS ALREADY DONE.  For us and for those around us.

 

* * *

What about you?

What spills out of you when you hear the word “hope”?

Please feel free to share your comments or you own Five Minute Friday in the comment section below.

 

 

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