To the Praise of God's Glory - July 10, 2021

Texts for Sunday July 11, 2021
7th Sunday after Pentecost

Amos 7:7-15
Psalm 85:8-13
Ephesians 1:3-14
Mark 6:14-29

These verses from Ephesians are a mouthful to read. In the Greek language, the 12 verses we have in the text is one long sentence with over 200 words! These verses remind us that through Christ, God is gracious beyond anything we can imagine. This sentence is an I-can-hardly-take-a-breath-because of my-awe exaltation of God because of that grace we receive through Christ. We live for the praise of God’s glory.

Starting with such a declaration of praise after a basic greeting is common in the ancient letters to those who hold important positions in Roman society and government. It’s inclusion in a letter to the Ephesian church is pointing the congregation to the One who holds the most important position in the life of the Church.

Grace is heaped, smothered, poured upon us… Paul calls it “lavished” by grace that brings wholeness and forgiveness. We are loved – no matter what. These verses heap praise and adoration on God by listing the many blessings we have received from God. We are people who have been chosen, who have been adopted as God’s children, who are redeemed and forgiven. We have “obtained an inheritance” and were “sealed by the Holy Spirit. We bring the blessings that we have received to a very weary and broken world.

That grace extends out to include the world; all things, in heaven and earth, will be gathered into God’s luscious grace. That includes all people. This is an important message to the Ephesian congregation comprised of Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians. That includes the earth. This is an important message to present day Christians who face faithful stewardship decisions in how to care for the earth and its climate.

We see the involvement of God in our human lives. We see that we receive all our blessings through the cross – blessings won for all people.

God’s grace precedes, surrounds, and sustains us. These verses invite us to stop and give praise to our God in awe.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245