What shall we do? What are the works that God wants us to do? This question is supremely important, as you might imagine, trying to know what God wants us to do, and as we listen to our scriptures today, I think we will find clearly what God wants us to do, and then we must pray that we respond and do the works God wants.
To get an idea of what is going to have to happen, what works we need to do, we must listen, again, for a moment, to our second lesson today, because it’s here that the work, or the outcome of that work, is declared. Paul was saying to those Christians at Ephesus, people whom he had preached to, converted and baptized, “I say to you, and with insistence I advise you, do not imitate the pagans who live an aimless kind of life. It is not for this that you have been baptized and have followed Christ. You must give up your former way of living, the old self, whose deceitful desires bring self-destruction. Renew yourselves spiritually from inside, put on the new self, the self according to God, which is created in true righteousness and holiness.”
Paul is saying we must undergo a revolution within ourselves, put on a new self. The words that he uses are very strong. He’s really calling for something that would almost turn us inside-out, upside-down, just change everything in our lives, a revolution, so that we really live in God and renew ourselves from inside, according to God’s ways.
Now the Gospel lesson helps us to really understand what this is all about, what this renewal is about, this revolution that has to go on. When you go to that Gospel lesson, the part where Jesus is carrying on the discussion with the people who find him after they discover that only one boat is gone and he’s not around, and the people are gone. They find him in Capernaum and ask, “Well, when did you come here?” But Jesus right away challenges them, “I say to you, you look for me, not because you have seen the signs, but because you ate bread and were satisfied. Work then, not for perishable food, but for the lasting food which gives eternal life. This is the food that the Son of Man gives to you, for God has put God’s seal on him.”…