When It’s All Been Said and Done

As God’s people, we are called to live the truth of the gospel and call others to do the same. by Major Annalise Francis

This season of graduations, ordinations and transitions lead us to consider life paths and what constitutes true success and happiness in life. I am reminded of a song by James Cowan that begins, “When it’s all been said and done/there is just one thing that matters/did I do my best to live for truth?/did I live my life for you?” At the end of the day, the main purpose of life is to be a disciple of Christ—a learner who commits to following and being transformed into the image of Christ. God has provided a way for every believer to fulfill his or her purpose. The believer’s role is to faithfully walk in it.

In Ephesians 2:8-10, The Apostle Paul connects our identity in Christ with our life purpose. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one can boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life”
(Eph. 2:8-10 NRSV).

The good works we are created to are detailed in God’s Word. We are called to be learners and teachers, to be disciples and make disciples, “equipping the saints,” learning and teaching to obey everything Christ has commanded us (Matt. 28:20).

As God’s people, we are called to live the truth of the gospel and call others to do the same. The gift of the risen Christ and indwelling Spirit equip God’s people for the work of ministry wherever we find themselves.

God designed His original creation with a natural symbiosis in all things. There was shalom, a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, tranquility. All of creation enjoyed a beautiful and easy oneness with God, one another and the world. When humans chose independence over oneness, all creation and the people in it were impaired by the entrance of evil, disease, destruction and death. In love, Jesus Christ, God the Son, came in the flesh to save us from the havoc of sin and restore us fully into who God made us to be.

As N.T. Wright expressed it, “God always wanted to rule his world through human beings. That is part of what it means to be made in God’s image. It was gloriously fulfilled in the human being Jesus; and the way creation will at last become what it was always meant to be will be through the wise, rescuing, restorative rule of rescued, renewed human beings. Everyone indwelt by the Spirit are, like Jesus, to be image-bearers…”

The relationship we have with God in Christ is ultimately evidenced by living out the good works Christ modeled and instructed us to do. The fields are ready for harvest. Workers are needed to care for the poor, the marginalized, the lonely, widows and orphans; to bear each other’s burdens; to resist sin; to love enemies; to live by the Spirit; to be caretakers of God’s goodness in the world. God calls His people to respond to the heart of the world’s pain and offer ourselves as vehicles of His healing and hope. Restoring the face of the earth, of our community, of our souls is the work of the Holy Spirit in and through those people who say yes to being God’s agents of truth, love, kindness and grace.

May James Cowan’s lyrics remind us to distinguish the precious from the insignificant as we frame our life’s purpose and pursuit:

When it’s all been said and done,
All my treasures will mean nothing;
Only what I have done for love’s rewards,
Will stand the test of time.

Major Annalise Francis is administrator and corps officer for the Ray &
Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. in Ashland, OH.