July 11

“God Wants to Gather Us Up” (Ephesians 1:3-14, Mark 6:14-29) Sunday July 11, 2021

“God Wants to Gather Us Up”

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, 4

just 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, 6

to the praise of his

glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7

In him we have redemption through

his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8

that he lavished

on us. With all wisdom and insight 9

he 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.

Mark 6:14-29

14King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the
baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in
him.” 15But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of
old.” 16But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”
17For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on
account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. 18For John had
been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19And Herodias had a
grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20for Herod feared John, knowing
that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly
perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. 21But an opportunity came when Herod on his
birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22When his
daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to
the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” 23And he solemnly swore to her,
“Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24She went out and said to
her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the
baptizer.” 25Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at
once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard
for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27Immediately the king sent a
soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the

prison, 28brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her
mother. 29When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

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