We’re in the New Testament Book of Ephesians for our main reading this week. It’s the Ninth week after Pentecost and we’ve been making our way through this letter of the Apostle Paul during the Seventh and Eighth weeks after Pentecost as well.
The theme this week is inclusion, drawing on Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians and J.K.Rowling’s ‘Cupboard Under The Stairs’, among other things.
Below, you will find the main scripture for this week, then the Order of Service with time stamps referring to the relevant points in the video of Rev. Geoff McKee’s morning service at St James’ for Sunday 25 July 2021. As an additional element, this week, there is the audio of Geoff’s Reflection (also in the video), with a link to an Amnesty International online article which features the image he discusses in his talk. Finally, you can find Katherine Robertson’s Musical Selection for this week, linking to a video on YouTube.
We are thankful that Moray has moved into “Level Zero” Covid-19 restrictions which means much wider access to Church of Scotland buildings than has existed for a while. It’s no longer necessary to make a prior booking through our Session Clerk, Susan McSheffrey, ahead of time in order to attend any of the services in the church.
The capacity of the church for services is now 107. Singing is permitted for all, but the congregation must wear masks at all times.
We hope very much to be able to welcome you in person to a Sunday Morning Service at St James’ before too long.
This week’s main reading
Ephesians 3:14-21 (New International Version)
A Prayer for the Ephesians
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
You’ll find the image Geoff discusses in his talk (audio file below) as the header image on this Amnesty International press release. (Editor’s note: I would have put the image here but I’m not sure about the copyright issues). Here is the “audio only” of Geoff’s reflection on the plight of refugees coming to the UK, particularly via the perilous crossing of the English Channel.
Before the Throne of God Above