Trophies — You can find them anywhere.
Many are on display to remember the “good ‘ol days” of being on top of your game and at your best. As a young child I wanted a trophy. The problem was I needed to participate in a competition or team sport to even have the chance to earn a trophy.
Up to this time in my life I did not have any opportunities with these two options. Then in second grade I had my chance! At my school we were having an event to either earn a prize or trophy. As things turned out it was a fundraiser jog-a-thon and we all would get a trophy if we participated and turned in the donations.
I did get that “participation trophy” even though I didn’t win anything. Not the triumph I was seeking, but it was a trophy and it was mine. I remember bringing it home, showing the family and putting it out on center display in my room.
In the Bible we read of God’s love for His creation as he purposed humanity to be in relationship with Him and to have the choice to enter into that relationship and follow Him. Paul, inspired by God, wrote a letter to the churches in Ephesus encouraging them to not live in their old ways of serving themselves, but instead to see themselves the way God sees them.
He writes, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
Paul also reminds those in Christ to remember they are saved not because of the good things or works they do, but because of God’s grace through faith in Him. (Ephesians 2:7-9). God’s gift of grace for humanity is available because Jesus died, was buried and resurrected.
So for those who believe and follow Jesus, they are now on display as God’s trophies of grace. We do not deserve it nor can earn it, but God gives it freely and chooses to present his followers to the whole world as instruments of this grace.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
The word “handiwork” can be translated as masterpiece, work of art, workmanship, creation or product of His hand. As followers it is “who we are” or our identity. God fashioned each of us to be a specific, unique trophy of His grace, thought up before time started to do good things for His glory.
Growing up I did have more opportunities to compete and earn a trophy, but the greatest “trophy” my life can live out, is to be a testimony of God’s grace working to bless Him and other. No two trophies are the same, but all those in Christ were made for this. The question then becomes, “As you are a “trophy” who will you be on display for?”
Pastor Frank Alioto serves as a chaplain in our community and pastors Roots Family Church in Soldotna.