Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3 NRSV)

Someone once said that God created us with eyes in the front of our heads so that when we tried to look back we would get a stiff neck. The possibilities of the future call us to look forward. The good news for us at the beginning of this holiday season is that God has set us free--free from the bones of the past. How does such freedom come? The Apostle Paul tells us.

We are set free when we realize that we have been chosen! Paul writes to the Ephesians, reminding them God has blessed them "with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world." God "destined us for adoption," Paul writes, "as his children through Jesus Christ."

The words "in Christ" appear ten times in the book of Ephesians. "In Christ" we become children of God. In God's great realm there are no grandchildren, there are no stepchildren, there are no illegitimate children, because each of us is a child of God "in Christ"! We are set free. We are chosen. There is great freedom in a feeling of "chosenness."

Dear God, thank you for choosing me through your son. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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