This week at my church we’re hosting our annual “Genesis Arts Camp“, and our campus is crawling with 300 kids, an army of counselors, lots of volunteers, a handful of pirates, and one very elusive whale.
The theme this year is “Searching for Treasure” and we’re teaching the kids the good news of Ephesians 1:3 and 7. The ESV version says:
(Eph. 1:3): Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… (1:7) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…
And here’s a paraphrased version for the sake of a camp theme song that I wrote we’re learning and singing every day:
Ephesians chapter 1 verse 3 and 7
Says God has blessed us with ALL the blessings of heaven!
So… let us give thanks and dance and celebrate
To the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
For by Jesus’ blood…
We are set free (Woo Hoo! Woo Hoo!)
Our sins are forgiven (Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!)
How great is the grace (How great is the grace)
Is the grace of God
Yesterday it was up to me to explain (in 4 minutes) what exactly being blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” or being blessed “with all the blessings of heaven” (my paraphrase) means.
Because, at first glance, this is one of those statements that makes you say “huh”? I’m blessed with every spiritual blessing? In the heavenly places? What does that mean?
I explained that it’s a lot like getting an Advent calendar.
An Advent calendar comes loaded with all the blessings inside all the drawers. Some of them you can open, and some you have to wait to open. You’ve been given all the blessings. They’re yours. But you’ll receive them when it’s time.
In Christ, we are blessed with a cosmic “Advent calendar”, containing every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Some of the blessings we receive right now. The forgiveness of our sins, for example. But some of the other blessings, like no more sickness in heaven, or the grace to love and care for my grandchildren some day when I’m 74 years old, I won’t receive until it’s time.
We’re all like pirates. We search for earthly treasure, expecting it to satisfy, but it never does. We always want more, whether it’s that elusive whale (named Waldo) or the treasure at the bottom of the sea.
But God adopts us as his children in Christ, and supplies every need “according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
God’s given you a fully loaded Advent calendar. You’ve been blessed with all the blessings of heaven. As we say at Genesis Arts Camp, “woo hoo! woo hoo!”