Who are you imitating?
Someone once said: “Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” That’s so true, isn’t it?! Perhaps you remember as a child being mortified by your parent’s mannerisms, actions, political beliefs, hobbies etc. Maybe you swore that you would never be like them! And yet, as the years have gone by, you have discovered that you like to do the things they do. You use some of the same facial expressions or sayings that they use. And, heaven forbid, you even vote for the same political party!
In our reading from Ephesians this past Sunday, the apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Just as children copy their parents, so we are to copy our Father God. If you won’t take Paul’s word for it, how about Jesus’? In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says: “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matt 5:48, The Message).
And what is that God-created identity? Well, it’s as beloved children! Adopted sons and daughters. Children who know that their identity is that of being loved by their parents will want to follow their parent’s ways out of love more than fear. And this kind of imitation will produce good fruit for many years, and perhaps generations, to come.
So, imitate God. Read, mark, and inwardly digest his word, and then live it out! Perhaps begin by reading through a gospel and seeing how Jesus lived. Then follow the pattern he gave to his disciples for a gospel shaped life, and see where he takes you as he calls you to grow up into him.We’ll continue to explore how we Grow Together in our series in Ephesians this Sunday with more Biblical foundations from the Apostle Paul.
-The Rev. Jonathan Bennett
Part of the Growing Together sermon series. We’ll continue to explore the book of Ephesians until Sunday August 30th.