August 29th, 2021 – 14th Sunday after Pentecost
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Aug 30th – Sept 5th
Thursday: ……………… 10:00am Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION
This Sunday is our last reading in the book of Ephesians (Eph 6:10-20). We first said that Paul’s letters are usually divided into two parts. The first part is the main argument which in Ephesians used financial (“in him we have the redemption”), familial (“we have obtained an inheritance”) and cosmic (“chosen before the foundation of the world”) language to proclaim the gospel – what Christ has done for us. The second part of Paul’s letters turns to how we then live the Christian life. In Ephesians the key is “walk in love as Christ first loved us.” And Paul continued the financial language describing those who “have no inheritance” while also encouraging us to “not become partners with them” but with the wise. He described how walking in love looks in the family – husband and wife, children and parents, and the larger household of the day. He saves for his poetic ending the cosmic language.
“We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Such a message is hard to hear for modern materialists like ourselves. If one doesn’t believe in Satan, or if one’s conception of God is a very distant watchmaker who does not really participate in his creation, cosmic powers get reduced to things like bad government policy or systemic effects. Utopia is just the right policy, some remediation and good education away. And one goes off to battle without even recognizing the enemy, believing it is just flesh and blood, blind and naked against such cosmic powers. Such leadership, such education, is quickly and easily routed. The best of intentions turned to partnership with this present darkness.
Paul’s encouragement is that God has given us what we need for this cosmic battle. “Put on the whole armor of God.” He portrays the eternal things as the Legionnaires battle gear. Truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the word – these are how one stands on The Day. The solider on enemy ground – in the world of the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers – keeps communications live (“praying at all times”) and keeps guard (“keep alert with perseverance making supplication for all the saints.”) Walking in love cosmically is being the outpost of the Kingdom of Heaven in enemy territory. But the call of duty is not kill them all and let God sort them out. It is not the conquest of this world, for this world is passing away. The call of duty is to hold onto those eternal things in the midst of the changeable world “that we might withstand in the evil day and stand firm.” The specific call might be quite different person to person, hence the supplications for all the saints, including Paul’s request for himself “that I might open my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains.”
We walk in love in a loveless world. The Kingdom of God is one of love. The Kingdom’s of this world are ones that use love for other ends, to lead you, if possible, into darkness. But cosmically, you have been chosen before the foundation of the world. You have a calling. Put on the armor and join the fight.
- Thurs 10am: We are going to read the letters of John, new start, good time to join!
- Confirmation: Tentatively starting Sept 15th after school
- 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 started the Sacraments this week. If you didn’t receive, make sure I have your email
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 John Bayer who will also be taking photos at church. He can also scan in physical photos.
Thank you to those who have contacted me.