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Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. Ephesians 5:1 NRSV

Many years ago, I had a friend who was an amateur impressionist. One of the voices he mimicked was President John F. Kennedy. At that time, based on video reels of JFK's speeches I had heard, he did a terrific job of aping the accent and cadence. But, I was hearing the imitation with mid-western ears. After living around Boston for over 30 years, I now realize his imitation was just okay, better than I could do, certainly, but not perfect. Something was still missing.

When we pick up our crosses and follow Christ, we are to be imitators of him. Becoming good imitators takes practice. Rich Little, the comedian known as "The Man of a Thousand Voices," didn't walk onto the stage and do a new voice untried. No, he became familiar with the person first. While I don't know his process, I imagine he listened to recordings, watched films for their movements, and read things the person had written.

Likewise, to become imitators of Christ, we, too, must listen to his voice in prayer; through the Bible, we become familiar with the actions of God. In studying the sacred text, we become informed of the important things to him. Paul goes on in this letter to explain how to begin: "Live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." 

We are imperfect impersonators of Christ's love. We certainly get the cadence wrong, and though I don't know that God has an accent– I doubt it's like Charlton Heston–we likely get that wrong, too. But that's okay. We will never become Christ; God filled that role by taking human form and offering himself for us. What we must do, however, is work each day, with God's help, to become better imitators, striving to become more and more like him, becoming fragrant offerings and sacrifices to God in our worship.

Heavenly Father, thank you for calling us to be your beloved children and to imitate your goodness and love. Help us by the Holy Spirit to live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to you. May our words and actions reflect your grace and mercy, and may we always seek to please you in all that we do. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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