But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4–5, NIV
If you’ve watched or played baseball, you know that the most exciting part (if you find baseball exciting at all) is when the bat makes contact and people start moving. But if the umpire calls “Foul!” the ball is determined out of play, everyone goes back to where they started. The tricky part of this is that the ball isn’t “foul” necessarily because of where it lands, but where it ends up. The rules say that even a ball that lands or rolls into foul territory is ultimately fair and in play if it settles in fair territory between home and first or home and third base. So you might see a fielder galloping sideways down the line, waiting to see where the ball ends up to decide if they need to make a play. So a hit isn’t always a hit, but a foul isn’t always a foul either.
Paul reminds us in Ephesians that dead isn’t always dead. At the end of chapter one, Jesus was dead, but then He wasn’t. And so, for those who are recipients of God’s love and mercy, because of Jesus, dead isn’t always dead. We start out in dead territory, but Jesus makes us alive! So let’s also be patient and hopeful in our ministry and life with others in playing our roles, watching expectantly for the Spirit’s work in each life to prove a formerly “dead” life alive and saved.
written by Major Cheryl Watson, Territorial Retired Officers’ Representative, USA East