The Growth of the Body
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Scripture1 Text

Psalm 68: 1-19

Praise and Thanksgiving

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm. A Song.

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
But let the righteous be joyful;
    let them exult before God;
    let them be jubilant with joy.

Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
    lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds[a]
his name is the Lord—
    be exultant before him.

Father of orphans and protector of widows
    is God in his holy habitation.
God gives the desolate a home to live in;
    he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
    but the rebellious live in a parched land.

O God, when you went out before your people,
    when you marched through the wilderness,Selah
the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain
    at the presence of God, the God of Sinai,
    at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad;
    you restored your heritage when it languished;
10 your flock found a dwelling in it;
    in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

11 The Lord gives the command;
    great is the company of those[b] who bore the tidings:
12     “The kings of the armies, they flee, they flee!”
The women at home divide the spoil,
13     though they stay among the sheepfolds—
the wings of a dove covered with silver,
    its pinions with green gold.
14 When the Almighty[c] scattered kings there,
    snow fell on Zalmon.

15 O mighty mountain, mountain of Bashan;
    O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!
16 Why do you look with envy, O many-peaked mountain,
    at the mount that God desired for his abode,
    where the Lord will reside forever?

17 With mighty chariotry, twice ten thousand,
    thousands upon thousands,
    the Lord came from Sinai into the holy place.[d]
18 You ascended the high mount,
    leading captives in your train
    and receiving gifts from people,
even from those who rebel against the Lord God’s abiding there.
19 Blessed be the Lord,
    who daily bears us up;
    God is our salvation.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 68:4 Or cast up a highway for him who rides through the deserts
  2. Psalm 68:11 Or company of the women
  3. Psalm 68:14 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  4. Psalm 68:17 Cn: Heb The Lord among them Sinai in the holy (place)

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture2 Text

Ephesians 4:1-16

Unity in the Body of Christ

4 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said,

“When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
    he gave gifts to his people.”

(When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended[a] into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

Footnotes

  1. Ephesians 4:9 Other ancient authorities add first

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.