18 July 2021 is the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and, like last week, the main teaching this week is based on a text from the New Testament book of Ephesians.
In the Intro to Ephesians in The Message, Eugene Peterson notes that “Paul’s letter to the Ephesians joins together what has been torn apart in our sin-wrecked world.” He describes “the energy of reconciliation” as “the dynamo at the heart of the universe”.
It is “imperative that we join in vigorously and perseveringly” so that “every detail in our lives contributes to what Paul describes as God’s plan worked out by Christ.”
This is a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Jesus – “everything in deepest heaven and everything on planet earth.”
Today’s main reading is specifically about a reconcilation of Paul’s time: reconcilation of Jews and Gentiles.
Below you will find the main reading followed by the video service which includes the other readings, prayers and Rev. Geoff McKee’s sermon. At the end of this post for today, you will find Katherine Robertson’s Musical Selection.
The Order of Service is set out below with time stamps for the the relevant point in the video so you can skip to your favourite hymn or fast forward through the sermon 😉
Main reading for today
Ephesians 2:11-22 (New International Version)
Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Order of Service
Order of Service – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Welcome and Intimations
Call to Worship
Praise: MP640 The Church’s one foundation (1:40)
Prayers of Adoration and Confession (5:43)
Praise: CH4 510 Jesus calls us here to meet him (14:55)
Readings: Jeremiah 23:1-6 & Psalm 23 (18:04)
Praise: MP200 Great is Thy faithfulness (20:20)
Readings: Ephesians 2:11-22 & Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 (24:04)
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession (39:28)
Praise: MP708 To God be the glory! (42:30)
Jesus calls us here to meet him
We are all one in Christ, even though we are all very different.
God loves us all! His arms are open wide for all who call on Him.
“Join the hand of friend and stranger. Join the hands of age and youth. Join the faithful and the doubter in their common search for truth” John Bell