By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley
Have you ever been given a gift that you didn’t understand? Something that looked nice, but had no foreseeable purpose for you? My family and I have received many such gifts. We open them together and then stop to examine them from all angles. What is it? What is it for? Does it do something? The most memorable odd gift was a Kleenex box cover from Europe, where Kleenex boxes are apparently different sizes than in the U.S. It was certainly pretty, but we couldn’t do a thing with it.
Sometimes, gifts from God can feel that way. Ephesians chapter 1 describes some of the gifts from God we’ve received. We are holy, blameless, loved, predestined, redeemed, and forgiven. That’s nice, we say, but what is all of this for? Does it do something? The chapter continues by saying, God gave us these things “in all wisdom and insight” (verse 8). If these things are all wise and insightful, they must have a purpose, right?
Right, God says. He gave these to us “according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him” (verses 9-10). We have been given the wisdom of knowing God’s purpose. We know what our gifts are for: they are to help Christ unite all things. We have been made new just for that purpose! All of our gifts, even the ones that seem silly or strange (reading upside down, anyone?), have been given so that we can share the love and wisdom of Christ. The worst thing we could do, the only way we could mess up, would be to ignore God’s purpose and keep our gifts to ourselves. Let’s acknowledge our purpose, recognize why we have been given our unique gifts, and use them to unite all things in Christ!