So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2 NABRE
Paul is writing to the community at Ephesus with much of the letter discussing how to conduct themselves as Christians. The church grew based on how Christians lived and the way they loved one another. Paul is aware that to be a follower of Christ we can’t behave like non-followers. Christians are only known by how they live. When others see us they should recognize we are imitators of Jesus, who is God. We are beloved children of God, and God treats us like we are all His favorite children. God’s love for us is beyond anything we can imagine. Paul tells the community Christ loved them so much that He gave his life for them (and us.). There is no greater love than to give your life for a friend. Jesus’ love is seen as sacrificial, Paul calling it a fragrant aroma, recalling the smoke that ascends to God when there were sacrificial offerings made by the people and priests of the temple. The ascending smoke (today we use incense or even a candle) with its rich scent is seen as a prayer that constantly flows to God praising and worshiping Him in thanksgiving for all He has done. Paul sees Christ’ sacrifice as a never ending prayer to God on our behalf. Paul also challenges us to imitate God. We can’t be ever present, all knowing, all powerful like God, but we can have unlimited forgiveness and generosity, particularly to those who have offended us.
When we imitate God, we can even think about it as being Christ to others, we are demonstrating why we follow Christ and how strongly we believe following Christ will make our life better and it will make us better at life!
Do you imitate God? Can you make others more important in your life?When we imitate God, we can even think about it as being Christ to others, we are demonstrating why we follow Christ and how strongly we believe following Christ will make our life better and it will make us better at life! Click To Tweet
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