Ephesians 1:3-14 says:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee[d] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."
This Sunday, we'll be celebrating Orphan Sunday...it's an opportunity for us to recognize the plight of the fatherless, to hear about the ways we are and can be serving them as a church, and to call upon the Lord to give us a greater heart of compassion for all of the afflicted, helpless, oppressed, and hopeless people all around us.
It's easy to allow the severity of the need, the gravity of the circumstances of so many children in the world to be either paralyzing or condemning. If we're not careful, we either freeze and throw up our hands in despair, or we roll up our sleeves and seek to go fix the problem in our own efforts, motivated by a sense of failure and guilt. The Lord doesn't want fear or condemnation to motivate or paralyze us. Instead, He wants his grace to set us free to follow Him on his mission of providing for, protecting, and rescuing the fatherless. Since he has adopted each one of us into his family, how could we believe the lie that He can't do the very same thing with these little ones who have no earthly family? Since he has redeemed us by his blood and lavished his grace upon us, let's allow that lavish, sacrificial love and mercy to motivate us to extend His love.
This Sunday, we're just going to sing songs that will help us to soak in the truths of Ephesians 1 that should provide both the encouragement and the foundation for effort we could make to follow Jesus on His mission to love and welcome the weak and helpless into his family.
Here are the songs we'll sing this week:
-Come Praise and Glorify
-Here Is Love
-How Deep the Father's Love