God the Surprising Worker of Grace
Place side by side: “We’re God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” And Jesus’ portrayal of his judgment on the whole world: “I was hungry and you gave me....”
The relation of Faith to Works is often seen as a problem. What gets us to heaven? “Just believe, pray, that’s it!” or “Believe, confess, be baptized.” or Bap., Confirm., Sacraments. We seek a minimal formula. What do I have to do for God to give me salvation? Enough.
God’s work is bigger since the human problem is bigger. In Ephesians, Paul speaks to Gentiles: “You were dead....” Your sins were walking with the times, the breath/spirit breathed by everyone. Paul soon shifts to “we” – Jews like himself are included. “We were all dead...” but didn’t know it. Living out wrath of our own choices. God’s response is mercy, love.
God did all the work, what no one could imagine, creating life in Jesus for all of us: Grace. We could not have done it by anything we did! God did it! But that love and grace sets the direction of real life for us. As we share Jesus’ story, we’re newly created for works that embody that good grace and love: Loving God, loving neighbor. God is the doer, the creator. We are the creatures – with purpose. We live his love toward all around us.