From the Pastor:         “Blessings”             Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.

REDEEMER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

July 11, 2021

 

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

 

Processional

 

Invocation: Good morning and welcome!

All you who seek God, and who have set your hope on Jesus Christ, hear the good news:
we have received forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’s grace.
As forgiven and beloved children of God, let us set our hope on Christ,
and live for the praise of his glory.

 

Call to Worship

L: Open wide the doorways of our sanctuary!
P: May the king of glory come into our midst.
L: Who is this king of glory?
P: This king of glory is our Savior Jesus Christ.
L: Open the doors of our hearts to receive Jesus Christ.
P: May our spirits and our hearts receive his blessing now and forever. AMEN.

 

Words of Welcome and Parish News

 

Gathering song

                                                                                                              

Prayers of the people and a time for Silent Prayer

Prayer Focus: Being Connected

 

The Lord’s Prayer

           Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

The New Testament Lesson:

                                                               Ephesians 1:3-14

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

 

Music of Preparation

 

The Message                                         “Blessings”                          Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.

 

What does it mean to you on an individual level to think about these words: “3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…”? Quite frankly, someone may say is this it? Have you ever reviewed an insurance policy or warranty policy for a car or items you have purchased through the years? Maybe you didn’t purchase an extended warranty for some items. You may feel some items are not worthy enough to spend the extra money. But, the writer of this text wants you to know how important you are to God.  Not only are we blessed, and we receive blessings from God. We should be rejoicing in the realization we have received the blessings of redemption through the blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of our trespasses. How we have received these blessings should be a reason for hallelujah praises and shouts of joy. There’s a powerful message in the distribution of blessings. The Word says according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.  The word lavished by definition indicates bestowing something in generous or extravagant quantities. We can’t imagine the blessings God has given us each day. What a blessing to know we have atonement and reconciliation available in our lives. God has forgiveness for our sins. These blessings should help us see a glimpse into the relationship we have with our Creator Parent.

However, one blessing that means so much to us is in verse 5:5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,”.

The church, through Christ, can be a powerful force to bless the community. When we look at each other, do we see a collective blessing? We have a testimony for who we are in this relationship with God through Jesus. Together our connection to Christ can lift encouragement to those looking for some light. I have often marveled over the fact that the Trinity, with all their power, glory, and wonder, has a place for us to be amid spreading the Word. We, as a faith community, can be agents of blessings without looking for reciprocation. In this world of current social change and challenges, we embrace the blessings God has lavished on us to be a force of good. Can we thank God for the love, grace, and mercy we have flowing in us? We can share this Good News in many ways.

 

Offertory Invitation:

Generous and Giving God, you have poured your blessings on us as the rain soaks the sun-parched grass of our lawns. You have lavished us with redemption, forgiveness, and grace. When you send the rain to water the grass, you expect growth in return. Remind us this day, as we make our gifts to you, that we have been blessings for a purpose – that we might be a blessing to others. May we grow in compassion, mercy, and longing for justice and love, as Christ loved us. In that holy Name, we pray. Amen.

 

Doxology:                                                                                                                    UMH 95

 

*Unison Prayer of Dedication:

True God, accept our gifts: gifts of our lives, our souls, and our treasure.
Multiply and bless these gifts and consecrate them to the praise of your glory. Amen.

 

Closing Music:

 

Sending Forth

Children of God, celebrate the life you have been given.
Live your life with all your might as a dance to God’s glory.
Live to the praise of God’s glory!

 

Recessional (Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music)

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