August 15th, 2021 – 12th Sunday after Pentecost
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Aug 16th – Aug 22th
Monday: ………………. 6:00pm Women’s Group (cancelled, next meeting 9/13)
Wednesday: …………… 7:30pm Church Council
Thursday: ……………… 10:00am Bible Study Cancelled (My Daughter’s Move-in Day)
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION
The second half of Paul’s letters are instructions on the Christian life. His summary from last week of that life is “Walk in love as Christ loved us (Eph 5:2).” Because we are no longer under the law such walking is not the punch list of do this don’t do that, but what does it look like?
That is what the rest of the letter to the Ephesians attempts to paint and our reading (Eph 5:6-21) is the first brushstrokes. There are two things that Paul excludes right away, but their connection is already deeply established in the Old Testament. “Everyone who is sexually immoral…or an idolator, has no inheritance in the kingdom of God.” Read the short book of Hosea if you want the most explicit prophetic connection between adultery and idolatry. The short summary is faithfulness to one’s spouse has relationship to faithfulness to God. And if salvation is by faith, those who are faithless are outside the Kingdom. That idea is given broader spiritual meaning when Paul says, “Don’t be deceived with empty words, the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience, therefore do not become partners with them.” As Proverbs would contrast Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly, Paul reminds us that our adversary will tell us many sweet nothings, but don’t become partners in darkness. “Now, you are light in the Lord.” The Spiritual Life – The Christian Life – is a partnership with God the Holy Spirit. Satan, The World, Lady Folly all say all the fun in is the dark. “The Freaks come out at night!” But everything done in darkness eventually comes into the light, which is the stick, to the carrot of the promise of resurrection, “Awake O Sleeper and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” The bible really doesn’t think of Love in an abstract way. It is not the philosophical virtue we often make it, or the word emptied of objective context. The Christian walks in love when being faithful to Christ.
So the Christian life, a faithful walk, is often more about wisdom and folly. “Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise (5:15).” And the application of wisdom is prudent judgment. “Understand what the will of the LORD is (5:17).” Where do we find that? His word. Become familiar with it. “Don’t get drunk with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit (5:18).” If we are looking for that experience that excites and fills us with joy, don’t go the easy artificial route. Wine might work now, but tomorrow morning you’ll feel it. Seek out the fullness of God. “Make melody to the Lord giving thanks (5:19-20).” Israel wandered 40 years in the desert because they grumbled. Our sinful desire, our natural setting is to grumble. Tom Wolfe wrote “the typical American plumber lives in a manner that would make the Sun King of France blush.” Not only has the common blessing of God been showered on us, but the salvific favor of God has also been given to you by grace in Jesus Christ. You are the most fortunate people in all of history. Yet we long for Egypt. Turn away from the grumbling toward thanksgiving. Know the Word that you might have a psalm in your heart for all occasions. This is the way of wisdom, a walk in love.
No meeting this month. Next meeting September 13th, a week early.
- Thurs 10am: We are going to read the letters of John, but I’m taking Anna to school this week, so no Thursday.
- Confirmation: Returns in September
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Returns in September
- Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, Walking through the Gospel of Mark
- Catechism Moment: We are back! Finished the Lord’s Prayer and moving into the Sacraments. Check your inbox.