NL Worship Resources: July 30, 2017

Proper 12 (17)

Color: Green
Closest RCL Sunday(s): Proper 13(18)B
Readings: Gospel Text: John 15:1-4 | Sermon Text: Ephesians 4:1-16 (Unity in the Body of Christ)
Psalm Suggestion: Psalm 51:1-12
Prayer of the Day: God and Father of all, you are the source of all good gifts and you equip us with all that we need to work for your kingdom. Knit us ever more tightly together into the body of Christ, the church; that we may serve you in truth and love by living out our community and calling. In the name of Christ who calls, gathers, and enlightens us to work your will and word in the world. Amen.

Suggested hymns based on the Sermon text:

ELW #757. All My Hope on God Is Founded
ELW #452. Awake, O Sleeper, Rise from Death
ELW #456. Baptized in Water
ELW #656. Blest Be the Tie That Binds
ELW #645. Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation
ELW #610. O Christ, the Healer, We Have Come
ELW #654. The Church’s One Foundation
ELW #804. Come Down, O Love Divine
ELW #361. The Day of Resurrection!
ELW #526. God Is Here!
ELW #831. The God of Abraham Praise
ELW #580. How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord
ELW #393. A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing!
ELW #482. I Come with Joy
ELW #650. In Christ There Is No East or West
ELW #708. Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love
ELW #312. Jesus, Come! For We Invite You
ELW #660. Lift High the Cross
ELW #403. Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song
ELW #808. Lord Jesus, You Shall Be My Song (Jésus, je voudrais te chanter)
ELW #517. Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word
ELW #579. Lord, You Give the Great Commission
ELW #837. Many and Great, O God (Wakantanka taku nitawa)
ELW #818. O Master, Let Me Walk with You
ELW #743. Now to the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray
ELW #496. One Bread, One Body
ELW #263. Savior of the Nations, Come
ELW #820. O Savior, Precious Savior
ELW #355/6. Sing, My Tongue
ELW #327. Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow
ELW #576. We All Are One in Mission
ELW #449. We Know That Christ Is Raised
ELW #211. You Have Put On Christ
LBW #209. Come, Risen Lord
LBW #506. Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
LBW #373. Eternal Ruler of the Ceaseless Round
LBW #505. Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go
LBW #153. Welcome, Happy Morning!
WOV #748. Bind Us Together
Various Hymnals O Christ, the Great Foundation
Various Hymnals Help Us Accept Each Other
Various Hymnals Thy Hand, O God, Has Guided
(ELW=Evangelical Lutheran Worship; LBW=Lutheran Book of Worship; WOV=With One Voice)

Suggested hymns based on the companion text:

ELW #539. Abide, O Dearest Jesus
ELW #629. Abide with Me
ELW #377. Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen!
ELW #793. Be Thou My Vision
ELW #447. O Blessed Spring
ELW #443. Dearest Jesus, We Are Here
ELW #253. He Came Down
ELW #398. Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
ELW #661. I Love to Tell the Story
ELW #477. I Received the Living God
ELW #775. Jesus, Priceless Treasure
ELW #836. Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
ELW #674. Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ
ELW #716. Lord of All Nations, Grant Me Grace
ELW #308. O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright!
ELW #343. My Song Is Love Unknown
ELW #500. Now We Remain
ELW #547. Sent Forth by God’s Blessing
ELW #642. Ubi caritas et amor (Where True Charity and Love Abide)
LBW #472/3. Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire
LBW #190. We Praise You, Lord
WOV #664. A New Commandment
Various Hymnals  Bread of Heaven, on Thee we Feed
Various Hymnals  I Hunger and I Thirst
Various Hymnals Lord of the Dance
(ELW=Evangelical Lutheran Worship; LBW=Lutheran Book of Worship; WOV=With One Voice)

Other options based on both:

If We Are The Body” By Mark Hall.
Living Hallelujah” By Sarah Kelly.
They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love
More contemporary suggestions here.

Prayers of Intercession:

(Introduction and Conclusion from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers, copyright © 2002)

God of mercy and healing, you who hear the cries of those in need, receive these petitions of your people that all who are troubled may know peace, comfort, and courage.

A brief silence.

Bless your church with all of the gifts it needs for ministry, O Lord; and bind us together that we may properly work toward your kingdom of peace. justice, and love. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Bless plants and animals, and all who care for them, O Lord; and grant that we better see the inter-connectedness of all life on earth and work for the healing of creation. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Bless the leaders of the nations, O Lord; and bless all those who work to hold those leaders accountable to your vision for the world. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Bless us with the Spirit, O Lord; and work through us that we may grow and mature in discipleship and evangelism to the glory of your name. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Bless all who suffer in mind, body, or spirit, O Lord (especially,…); and use us to bear one another’s burdens and pains. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

Bless all the members of your body, the church, O Lord; and grant us unity with all the saints — past, present and future. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Life-giving God, heal our lives, that we may acknowledge your wonderful deeds and offer you thanks from generation to generation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Some Resources for Ephesians #1

July 16: Ephesians 1:1-14

I generally like to begin with a quick look at the Greek for anything that catches my eye. I usually start here and then move to other resources for deeper study of any interesting linguistic points.

Working Preacher (of course): “The letter begins with a blessing for God rather than a thanksgiving for the Ephesians themselves. The theological and Christological emphases will continue throughout, yet it does not take much imagination to see the implications of God’s work for those to whom the letter is addressed. They have been adopted as children of God.”

Textweek: A variety of resources, here are a couple that caught my eye in particular —

“Visualizing Peace,” Alan Brehm, The Waking Dreamer. “You cannot overcome hatred with hatred. It’s an ancient concept: you can only overcome hatred with love. You cannot overcome violence with violence. You can only overcome violence with peace. And so it is that St. Paul viewed Jesus’ death as an act of peace overcoming the hatreds and divisions of the human family.”
Join the Feast, Ephesians 1:3-14, Elizabeth Smith, Union PSCE, 2009. “In a world full of injustice, pain and division, these words of adoption, grace and gathering all things up are sometimes hard to hear. Indeed, there is tension between what God has already done in Christ and what is left to be done in the world.”

Sermonwriter: “‘Blessed (Greek: eulogetos) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (v. 3a). The form of this verse is called a benediction (good saying) or a berakah (the Hebrew word for blessing). It is a joyful response to the blessings that God has given (see v. 3b), and ascribes blessings or praise to God for his grace.”

Sermon on Ephesians 1:3-14 by Paul G. Fleischer: “In our text from Ephesians 1, with its soaring gospel truths proclaimed to us, the Lord would have us consider again the astounding truth that our eternal salvation was begun by God already before the foundation of the world. May the Spirit of God bless our consideration of verses 3-14.”

Dr. Ronald D. Worden: “In the Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul does not address a series of specific local problems as he does in 1 Corinthians, nor a single specific problem such as the “Colossian Heresy” (Col. 2:8-23)…Ephesus was large enough to have many problems. Paul “did extraordinary miracles” there (Acts 19:11), exorcizing evil spirits (v. 12), making “some itinerant Jewish exorcists” jealous (vv. 13-16), and supervising a public burning of magic books valued at “fifty thousand silver coins” (v. 19). But these problems were within the surrounding culture, not within the Christian community. So in Ephesians, more than in most of his other epistles, Paul waxes eloquently about spiritual blessings.”

Church in God’s Eternal Plan (EBSCO): “In the first three chapters we sense a vertical thrust: our eyes are directed chiefly upward to God and His Christ; in the last three chapters the thrust is horizontal: our eyes are directed chiefly to our fellow Christians and fellowmen. A few simple outlines may be suggested. All say about the same thing: The Nature and the Function of the Church, or, more popularly stated: The “Is”-ness and the Business of the Church.”

Proclaiming Ephesians (EBSCO): ” In this book, we have what has been described as “the quintessence of Paulinism,” one of the most mature and eloquent statements on the purpose of God, and the place of the church in the accomplishment of that divine purpose in history.”

July 23: Ephesians 2:11-22

Start with a quick look at the Greek on biblehub.

Working Preacher (of course): “Think of the perennial hot spots around the globe, or the places of enduring tribal violence, or the generation-to-generation legacy of racial tension in the United States. Then read Ephesians 2:14, “He is our peace.” We often speak of Christ creating peace between humanity and God, but in this reading, the peace that Christ brings is between one group of human beings and another as much as it is related to humanity’s standing before God. Hostility between us is overcome (v. 14) and reconciliation with God is also made real (v. 16).”

Textweek: A few resources in particular —

Breaking Down the Dividing Wall,” Janet Hunt, Dancing with the Word, 2012. “When you consider what it is ‘to be brought near by the blood of Christ,’ what does this mean to you? How have you experienced this?”

First Thoughts on Year B Epistle Passages in the Lectionary,” Pentecost 8, William Loader, Murdoch University, Uniting Church in Australia. “It is not the mission to recruit strength and build power. It all depends so much on whether you see the goal as withdrawal to another source of power beyond all things or coming home to the source of love within all things which is seeking to bring and hold them together.”

Commentary, Ephesians 2:14-22, Hyveth B. Williams, The African American Lectionary, 2009. “This passage is cause for the people of God to rejoice that God is reconciling, healing and bridging communities in both the spiritual and natural world.”

Sermonwriter: “People construct walls in their minds and hearts—walls that do not necessarily express themselves in physical form. We say, “Good fences make good neighbors.” But we must learn to ask, “Why do they make good neighbors?” We must learn that “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down” (from “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost). That something is God. God wants to bring down the walls that divide us.”

Jesuswalk: Paul continues the construction analogy. “Built together” (NIV) is the Greek compound verb sunoikodomeo, “to build up or construct of various parts, build up (together).”[18] You and I are not built for individual devotion and churchless lives as Lone Ranger Christians. We are to be built together with others.

Political Theology Today: “Peace. Justice. Citizenship. These are the catch phrases that the author employs. Laudable goals, to be sure, but the way in which the text moves from this ethnic (and potentially racial) conflict to the resolution are not only unorthodox but, for the gentile audience addressed, is jarring and potentially wounding.”

Theological Meditations on Ephesians 2:11-22 (EBSCO): This passage from Ephesians embodies the Pauline preoccupation with commenting on Gentile problems. The first two verses pile up harsh characterizations of Gentile outsiders from the perspective of God’s people Israel: They are the uncircumcized, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Following what Nils Dahl has termed the “soteriological contrast pattern,” Ephesians calls Gentiles to remember their godless heritage in order to cast into bolder relief the “immeasurable riches of God’s grace in Christ Jesus” (2:7) that are now theirs as “members of the household of God” along with their Jewish brothers and sisters (2:19).”

Ephesians 2:11-22 (EBSCO): “This twofold gift of peace and the divine rescue are inseparable. For it is in a single act, the creation of a new humanity in Christ, that the rescue is accomplished and peace achieved. Christ “create [s] in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace” (v. 15).”