Have you even contemplated the “ultimate Question of Life”? The question that asks all, begs all, encompasses all … the “Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”. In the novel written by Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy the super computer “Deep Thought” contemplated this question for 7.5 million years and came up with an answer.
The answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” was the number 42.
Yup, 42 … there now we can all go home.
Just to be sure the number 42 is an interesting number. There are 42 generations in the Gospel of Matthew’s version of the Genealogy of Jesus. The Gutenberg Bible contains 42 lines per page.
All pretty interesting stuff but not reason enough to believe that 42 in any way represents the answer of life. The fact is that Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians contains that answer. We just heard it, verse three begins with, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.”
Right there, that’s it; in Christ we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven. How could anything else matter?
And if that is not clear enough, he goes on to say, “as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ”. Before the foundation of the world “he chose us”.
The other day I was talking with our confirmation students, and we were discussing this very point. We discussed the fact that God knew us from before time. He knew us, knows us and is going to know us. There is no hiding, no pretending, no faking. If there was ever someone that you have no choice to be real with it is God. What choice do we have? He knew that we would help that person when no one else saw us and He saw us cross the street just to avoid that person that we hate talking with. This was a revelation to them. Their basic reaction was, “how is that even possible”? My point was that they should worry as much about the possibility as the possibilities.
The first reading went on to say that not only did He choose us but that He made us to be Holy and without blemish before Him. To use the student’s words, “how is that even possible?” If He knows me then He knows how imperfect I am. He knows every one of our blemishes.
But Paul has an answer for that as well. He says, “In Christ we have redemption by his Blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.” And that is where the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything comes in. “BY HIS BLOOD”. Not the number 42, not some goofy book written in the late 70’s but that simple reality.
God chose us before time so He knows us, but He loves us anyway, and He has made us to be holy by the blood of His son. It all seems so simple. And in this letter from Paul is not the only place that this is all laid out for us.
John 3:16 says that, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8 says that, “God shows is love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
This could go on, and the amazing truth would remain the same. So the fact is that the answer is not what we should concern ourselves with. We know God loves us. The question is, “what do we do with that knowledge?
The gospel was long and sort of confusing, but the point appears to be “what are we going to do with that knowledge?”
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed.” It does not matter what they did. It only matters what you are going to do.
The gospel verse said, “I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.” And it is through Jesus Christ that we are destined “for adoption to himself”.
No matter what else exists, or distracts or confuses, one thing has to remain; Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens‘.
EPH 1:1- 10
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
to the holy ones who are in Ephesus
and faithful in Christ Jesus:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In Christ we have redemption by his Blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.
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