Preaching Schedule, August 2015
As is Paul’s habit, the first half of the book of Ephesians is a theological discourse, and the second half of the book is given over to practical applications. The passages selected for this season in the lectionary all come from this practical half of the book.
August 2: Holy Communion
“One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”
The first mark of a church living worthy of the gospel is unity in diversity. Paul reminds us that we serve one God, though we may each serve him differently as he has gifted us.
“The Sincerest Form of Flattery”
Paul asks us to become imitators of God. In particular, he points to God’s forgiving nature.
Paul’s instruction to the church of Ephesus is to make the most of their time. Our pop culture has seized on this notion with the slogan YOLO (You Only Live Once) which has become a sort of hedonistic battle cry. It’s as though Paul saw this coming, though. He warns against filling our time with this kind of behavior, suggesting that a better use would be to seek God’s will and “make music from the heart.” The song he has in mind is a song of thanksgiving.
“Topsy Turvy Love”
The key to properly understanding this section is in the very first verse: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Paul’s statements about wives submitting to husbands and about slaves submitting to masters have been controversial over the centuries. It’s important to remember that Paul was writing to a culture where these ideas would have been absolutely taken for granted. The offense in Paul’s day would have come from his instruction to husbands and slave owners, demanding a selfless love and sacrifice towards those over whom the world grants them authority.
“The Full Armor of God”
Our Children will lead us in this Fifth Sunday worship experience followed by a Picnic-style pot luck meal