A Reading from Ephesians (2:4–10)
God, who is rich in mercy, out of great love brought us to life in Christ, even when we were dead in our sins. It is through this grace that we have been saved. God raised us up and, in union with Christ Jesus, gave us a place in the heavenly realm, to display in ages to come how immense are the resources of God’s grace and kindness in Christ Jesus.
It is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and even that is not of yourselves, but the gift of God. Nor is it an award for anything you have done, so nobody can claim the credit. We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to do the good things God created us to do from the beginning.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
Likewise, there is a fight going on inside the church about whether human beings are essentially beloved or essentially broken -- and the wolf that will win that fight is also the one that we feed. Choosing to feed our belovedness rather than our brokenness focuses us on inclusion rather than exclusion; on justice rather than judgment; on compassion rather than condemnation.
We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to do the good things God created us to do from the beginning. So let's get on with it.