March 16, 2018

By Rev. Craig Brown, First UMC of San Diego, South District

Ephesians 2:10

For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

My father was a general contractor. Growing up as a child, I would often work with him during the summer on a variety of jobs. I learned painting, plumbing, drywall, electrical, along with a variety of other skills. We drove from job to job in his truck equipped with a utility bed. It had many cabinets with custom made drawers for just about every tool I could imagine as a child. When biding my time, I would look through all the drawers and all the tools imagining what things could be created or repaired with them. I remember asking my dad why he had so many tools and he gave a simple answer, “You have to have the right tool for the job.” He was right. After all, how many times have we tried to drive a nail using a wrench because the hammer was not in a convenient location? You have to have the right tool for the job.

This text from Ephesians 2:10 is also about tools. Other translations of this same text state that we are “God’s workmanship.” No matter how one reads this text, the meaning is a powerful one. God has employed each and every one of us for a particular job. Much like my dad who was in possession of just about every tool, so God is with all of us. God has called us to a time and a place to be used to create and repair. We are the instrument in God’s hand that can bring healing and wholeness to a sinfully broken world.

The issue we often face is wanting very much to be used in God’s hand in a way that God has not “prepared beforehand.” Great Lent offers us an opportunity to consider exactly how God has gifted us and called us. We can confess how we have tried to be something we are not. We can rejoice in who God has made each of us to be. We can choose to be used by God to create and repair in ways that we can never possibly imagine. We can make the choice to be the right tool for the job.

Prayer: Your Son was raised as a carpenter, O God. He found in Himself the perfect purpose and destiny for his life in revealing your great love to us. Show us this day how we might walk His path in realizing your call and dream for our lives. Forgive us of our pursuits of our own agenda and preferences. Instead, restore to us a wonder of your grace and an amazement of all your handiwork, including ourselves. We ask and pray this in the powerful Name of Jesus, the carpenter. Amen.