SUNDAY SCHOOL @ HOME – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (July 11, 2021)
Children of God (Ephesians 1:3-14)
Today is the 7th Sunday of Pentecost. During Pentecost, we grow closer to God and closer to one another.
This week, we read from the New Testament book of Ephesians. Ephesians is actually a letter written by the apostle Paul, a follower of Jesus, in order to encourage new Christians in the city of Ephesus.
Let’s watch this video together to hear what the apostle Paul said:
In Ephesians, the apostle Paul writes to the new Christians at Ephesus and tells them that the blessings they have received in their lives come from God. Paul tells them that God loves them and that they are children of God, made part of God’s great big family. Paul tells them that they are forgiven and that God’s forgiveness, grace, and love is for everyone. Paul says that whatever they like to do, no matter what they don’t like to do, no matter who they are, God loves them. They are God’s people.
What’s important for us to know is that what Paul wrote isn’t just true for the people who lived in Ephesus a long time ago. It’s also true for us! The good things in our lives – the blessings we have received – come from God. And there is no doubt – God loves us! We are children of God and we are part of God’s great big family…a family that includes people from every time and place. God forgives us, loves us, and gives us grace, and it’s not just for us, but it is for everyone!
When we are baptized, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever! What a blessing that is! God’s for us will never change and it will never end. We are part of God’s great big family forever!
- What are the blessings or good things in your life?
- Who is part of God’s great big family?
- When will God’s love for you end?
Every Move I Make. C J & Friends.
At baptisms, the pastor often uses oil to trace a cross on the forehead of the person being baptized as they say the words, “You are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” Sometimes the oil is scented. Consider making some scented oil that you can use to trace the sign of the cross on your or someone else’s forehead and say those words once each day. Put olive oil in a small container and add either almond extract, a piece of cinnamon stick, anise, or concentrated potpourri refresher oil.
In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Christians in Ephesus, he reminds us that we belong to God. We are part of God’s great big family. God cares for us, loves us, forgives us, and helps us be better. In the book Toby by Hazel Mitchell, we meet a rescue dog named Toby. Toby joins the family doesn’t immediately fit it. But the young boy in the story doesn’t give up on Toby and he becomes part of the family. Hear and see the story read below:
God, we thank you for all the blessing you place in our lives. We thank you that we are part of your great big family forever. We thank you that you forgive us, care for us, give us grace, and love us forever. Help us share what you give to us with others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Pastor Dan Fugate, Assistant to the Bishop for Discipleship in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA, put this lesson together for Sunday School @ Home. There will be a new one for each Sunday while we are unable to gather together physically in our congregational buildings. Contact him at [email protected].