In 2005, when American civil rights hero Rosa Parks died, Oprah Winfrey counted it a privilege to eulogize her. Oprah said of the woman who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955, “I often thought about what that took—knowing the climate of the times and what could have happened to you—what it took to stay seated. You acted without concern for yourself and made life better for us all.”
We often use the word eulogy to refer to the words spoken at a funeral. But it can also refer to other situations where we give high praise to someone. In the opening lines of Ephesians, the apostle Paul eulogized the living God. When he said, “Blessed be the God and Father,” he used a word for “blessed” that means “eulogy.” Paul invited the Ephesians to join him in praising God for all kinds of spiritual blessings: God had chosen and adopted them; Jesus had redeemed, forgiven, and made known to them the mystery of the gospel; and the Spirit had guaranteed and sealed them. This great salvation was purely an act of God and His grace.
Let us continue to center our thoughts on God’s blessings in Christ. When we do, like Paul, we will find our hearts overflowing with a eulogy that declares: “To the praise of His glory.”
Blessed Father, I am overwhelmed by Your grace. My only adequate response is ceaseless praise. Thank You for choosing me, adopting me, redeeming me, forgiving me, and making known to me the mystery of the gospel.
Praise is the song of a soul set free.
Ephesians 1:3-14 is an extended blessing to God for His work of creation and redemption. Paul goes to great lengths to describe and celebrate the goodness of God for His grace and promise. Twice Paul mentions that our salvation is in accordance with His good pleasure or “according to the purpose of His will” (vv. 5,9