August 22th, 2021 – 13th Sunday after Pentecost
Flowers in Honor of Wayne & DeeDee’s Wedding Anniversary
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Aug 23rd – Aug 29th
Thursday: ……………… 10:00am Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION
Paul’s argument in the second half of Ephesians is that the Christian life is walking in love. And as he shows us what that means there are three concepts that are important. Love itself, which is the concept that is being fleshed out as Christ incarnated it, is the first concept and the one being defined. Last week the concept was wisdom. Walking in love means being able to discern the wise from the unwise. And the path of wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord – “understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph 5:17).” Paul’s fleshing out of love ended last week with the third concept, submission.
Christ himself submitted to the will of his Father. “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:2).” We submit to wisdom, but wisdom is a tricky concept. What that really looks like is a submission to the correction of the wise. “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser (Prov 9:9)” is how Proverbs talks about it. The wise recognize wisdom and submit to it. In the Christian community that often means one another on a rotating basis. That is why Paul ended last week with “submitting to one another out of reverence to Christ (Eph 5:21).” The community walking in love should also be the community of the wise instructing each other in the way of the Lord.
So walking in love is Christ’s submission to the Father. Walking in love is the mutual submission of his disciples to the Word and to each other that we might be wise. And this week (Eph 5:22-33) walking in love is the special case of marriage. In marriage Paul says we have an image or an icon of Christ and the church (Eph 5:32). It is here that Paul brings the three concepts – love, wisdom, submission – into their closest alignment. Paul’s summation (Eph 5:33) I believe addresses directly the most foolish things we are tempted towards in marriage. Husbands are tempted to treat their wives as extraneous instead of part of themselves in the one flesh. Wives are tempted to belittle and disdain their husbands, which also is a denigration of the one flesh. Now this is a generalization, but these are foolish because these are how the other is most grievously hurt. The path of wisdom, a walking in love in marriage, recognizes this asymmetry in God’s creation of man and woman. “Let each [husband] love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (Eph 5:33).” This is where wisdom, submission and love meet.
Submission is love, and love is submission, but the emphasis is different depending upon who we are. Love for Jesus was submission to the Father and to Pilate, which ultimately was the cross. Submission for the husband is to love your wife as yourself in the same way that Christ loved the church. This will mean personal costs, if not the cross. Love for the wife is submission to the husband in the same way the church seeks out the Word. This also is not something easily or naturally done. How well does the church listen to the Word? At the lowest level this is wisdom in that things go better, even though our world doesn’t believe that. At the higher levels this is wisdom in that it conforms our most important life to the divine life. We become an icon that shows divine grace. May we learn to walk in love and display the grace of the Father.
- Thurs 10am: We are going to read the letters of John, new start, good time to join!
- 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: Will Start the Sacraments this week. Check you inbox
Thank you for all those who have already returned the contact information. For those who have not been present, we will be mailing out the info form. We will also be moving on to getting updated photos for everyone. If you have a photo that you like, and it is in digital form, you can email it to me and we will use that photo in the directory. John Bayer will also be taking photos at church.
I’ve been contacted by an incoming Freshman at RIT who would be looking for a ride to church. His address is Nathaniel Rochester Hall room 7103 on Lomb memorial drive (the school address). I’ve got his phone number. If some people might be able to give him a lift please let me know. I’ll get you in contact.
If you have anything you wish to get in the weekly newsletter, please contact pastor or just email him what you would like included usually by Thursday evening. Thanks!