The problem, however, is this: We are afraid the furniture we have picked out (and agreed upon) may actually be too big for the room. We would like a sectional with enough room for our entire family, as well as guests, to sit together. But how will the room feel when we add in a super-sized couch? So last night, we hatched a plan. We used a few chairs from the kitchen table, an end table, the love seat that is currently in the room, a few blankets, a tape measure, and some tape and we simulated what the room will look like if we choose to move forward with the purchase. It is awesome. It looks like a combination of a tent-playhouse and a thrown together obstacle course/jungle gym. Our kids think it is fascinating. We have talked about how it is an attempt to model the space. It is a parody of what may be.
All of this has…as you can tell…got me thinking. Specifically, I am reflecting on Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus. Here is what he says:
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Paul tells the Ephesian church to be imitators of God. That we should walk in love. That we should follow Jesus in sacrificially give ourselves up. This is a pretty tall order. This requires seeing Jesus as more than a feel-good part of our Sunday morning (when we choose to actually get up instead of sleeping in). It requires honestly facing the reality of our own broken, worthlessness…apart from Christ who gives us worth and who has claimed our lives. It requires actually coming to grips with a God who is holy. A God whose anger burns and who hates disobedience. Rebellion. Sin. God hates sin. It separates us from who He is and what He has planned for us (and for all of His creation).
And that is why He came. That is why the Father sent His Son, Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit to live perfectly. To care for the poor. To walk humbly. To serve the needy and bring hope to the brokenhearted. To die as the perfect sacrifice for our rebellion. To live again as the firstborn of the resurrection. So that we need not fear death, but instead can hope for the resurrection. The day when we will live as fully human. To live as He intended at the start of time, before our rebellion.
So what are we to do in response to this incredible relationship? We are to be imitators of God. We are to walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. We are to be imitators.
Before my family left the furniture store, before we headed home to engage in serious discussion concerning the merits of different cushions, fabrics, frames, and footstools, we did something else. We took measurements. Yes, that’s right. We took measurements. You see, we couldn’t model what the sectional would look like unless we first studied it. What were the dimensions? What was the shape? Which side had the extended section? We needed to study the couch if we were to model it in the room.
If you and I are to be imitators of God, we need to spend some serious time at the feet of Jesus. We should read His teachings. We should reflect upon His words. We should consider His life, His actions, His movements. We should reflect upon what He has given us…and learn to shape our lives and our worldviews around it.
After all, this life is no longer about us. It is all about Him. So go be imitators…