You Are God’s Workmanship

Here is a text I hope will fuel your faith and hope in whatever God gives you to do today:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

The Epic Poem of Creation

You are a piece of work — God’s work. When Paul says that you are God’s “workmanship,” don’t think of your clunky seventh grade shop class project. Think of The Odyssey, Beowulf, The Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost, or The Faerie Queen — great works of epic poetry.

The Greek word Paul chose for this sentence is “poiema,” and what he had in mind is a work of masterful creativity. You can already tell that this is where we get our English word “poem.” Paul selected this word carefully. The only other time in Scripture he used it was in Romans 1:20:

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Here it takes five English words to unpack poiema. All that we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell in the universe is reading God’s creative masterpiece, his epic poem. Homer, Dante, Milton, and Spenser were masterful poets, as far as humans go. But at their best, their poems are merely human imaginations. But when God imagines, his images come into real existence. His poems are living and active and multi-dimensional.

The Epic Poem That Is You

What Paul, and God through Paul, wants you to understand is this: You are an epic poem, a God-imaging poiema — become flesh and spirit. Your poem contains all the comedic and tragic drama of an existence more real and more meaningful than you have yet to comprehend. If you think you are a boring work of prose, you don’t yet see things as they really are. You are afflicted with a sin-induced cataract in the eye of the heart. But it is God’s intention and delight to heal your sight (Ephesians 1:18).

Tiny, insignificant you are more glorious than the sun and more fascinating than Orion. For the sun cannot perceive its Creator’s power in its own blinding glory, nor can Orion trace his Designer’s genius in the precision of his heavenly course. But you can. You are part of the infinitesimal fraction of created things that have been granted the incredible gift of being able to perceive the power and native genius of God! And to you, and you only, is given a wholly unique perception and experience of God’s holy grand poiema. There are some verses God will show only to you. What kind of being are you, so small and weak and yet endowed with such marvelous capacity for perception and wonder?

This is not inspirational poster kitsch. This is biblical reality.

Your Priceless Privilege of Today

No, there is nothing boring about you and there is nothing boring about what God has given you to do today. If you are bored, remember what Chesterton said: “We are perishing for want of wonder, not want of wonders.” Wonder at this: God has prepared just for you what he’s given you to do (Ephesians 2:10). Nothing you do today is unimportant. God is keenly interested in the smallest detail. You don’t need a more wonderful calling; you may just need more strength to comprehend the wonder of his loving ways toward you (Ephesians 3:17–19).

Today you get the priceless privilege of reading with your whole being one verse or maybe a few lines in the great poiema of God, while at the same time being a poiema which God will recite forever and will always remember.

God is wholly absorbed in his living epic. He wants you to be too.