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Today is April 30th. Today marks the end of a [very long] month for many of us. There are those who have been furloughed from work. Those who are unable to work until government restrictions lift. And those who have lost their job altogether. However, there remain a number of us who will receive a paycheck today. I am one of those lucky ones, and for that I am continually grateful
To commemorate payday, I like to follow a ceremonial ritual (of sorts). I start by opening my preferred web browser (In this case, Safari because Google Chrome likes to mine your data). Then, I navigate to my bank’s URL (I bank with USAA). I take a sip of my coffee, then enter my username and password (I won’t be sharing that information with you). I navigate to the “accounts” tab, take a deep breath, then click. On a good day, when I like the number I see, there is a small celebration that happens in my head. “Jacob, well done. You’ve succeed at life and you are awesome. Also, you’re good-looking,” says my heart. However, if I don’t like the number I see, a not-so-tiny explosion of fear, anxiety, anger, shame, frustration, and a desire to binge-watch Netflix while eating a tub of Blue Bell’s Banana Pudding Ice Cream, fills my head. “Jacob, you’ve failed” says my heart. “Also, lose some weight.”
Okay, so where am I going with all of this? Well, there’s this little thing Paul says as he opens his letter to the Ephesians. It’s so small I almost missed it…except for that God wanted to pull me out of my (previously mentioned) head space.
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus…”
Did you catch that? Paul has something to say about who we are as believers. Namely, we are saints. I am a saint. A holy one. Consecrated. Why? Simply because I am called by God and have chosen to put my faith in Jesus Christ. And that little title, those five letters, are actually really big. In MacLaren’s commentary he says it like this:
“The one condition of being holy is that we should know whose we are and whom we serve, and we can carry the consciousness of belonging to Him into every corner of the poorest, most crowded, and most distracted life, recognizing His presence and seeking to do His will.”
So the fact that we are saints should be one of the most profound things we carry with us. It should weigh in on our emotions a whole lot more than things like what our bank accounts say. The world would like to tell me what I’m worth, and whose I am, and where I belong in a whole lot of ways, but Paul sums it all up in a tiny little word.
So really, I don’t need to be owned by the fact that somewhere out there a programmer wrote a few lines of code to generate a numerical value that appears every time I login to my bank’s website. Those numbers, on the eat-my-weight-in-ice-cream days, and on the you’re-killing-it days, will never be as significant as the fact that I am called a saint. Tiny word, huge implications for my head space.