Friday of Pentecost 17 – Mark 9:30-37

Mark 9:30-37

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

3And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

What was it like to be that child whom Jesus used as an example? I imagine Jesus sitting on a stool, embracing this little boy in his arms, standing the lad right in front of himself, and looking at his disciples over the little boy’s shoulder, their faces side by side. How close they must have been. The Bible tells us nothing of that that little boy felt or thought of this event.

There are more children in this passage, are there not? Look at those disciples as Jesus asks them what they had been talking about on the road. They look just like a bunch of fourth graders whose teacher has confronted them about some playground incident. They all stare at the ground and say nothing. No one is willing to talk. The disciples had been arguing about who would be great in the kingdom of God. I suppose Peter thought he would be the prime minister and poor James the Less would be relegated to secretary of agriculture or something like that. It was foolish and shows that they had not been listening to Jesus.

But also look at our Lord himself, as he describes himself in the opening words. The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men, they will kill him, and he will rise again. Notice how helpless Jesus looks in that prediction. He is betrayed. Men kill him. He is a corpse, lying helpless in a grave until the Father raises him. Even more than a little child, he looks helpless.

Jesus uses the little boy to make a point. God’s kingdom, the kingdom in which they are trying to leverage a place for themselves, operates on a completely different principle from that of the world. In a worldly empire, the emperor is served by all the citizens of the empire. He is at the top of the service food chain. But God’s kingdom inverts. God assumes his place of greatness in the heavenly kingdom by serving all, by become the one who submits to betrayal, scourging, death, and a tomb. He rose, but not to renounce his role as servant. He rose to shepherd and serve his people to all eternity.

There is a tradition, we do not know if it is true, but I like to think that it is, that this little boy grew up and eventually became the Bishop of Antioch. This is the very congregation which sent Paul on his missionary journeys. When an old man, in his 80’s, he was accused and convicted of being a Christian and sentenced to die in the arena in Rome. On his way to martyrdom, he wrote at least seven letters. You can read them; an internet search will connect you to translations which are freely available. His name was Ignatius of Antioch. I recommend his letter to the Romans. He wants to look like Jesus, servant of all. He wants to give his life to save others.

Thursday of Pentecost 17 – James 3:13-4:10

James 3:13-4:10

1Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

I know a man who has been to prison. He was not a chaplain or a guard. He was convicted of a felony. I believe it was a miscarriage of justice. He was wrongly convicted on that day in court. A witness falsely testified. He could have raged and screamed. His legal counsel used the channels of appeal, but they were denied. He was sentenced and served time. I don’t know what I would have done in that situation. I fear I would have become something terrible in my anger and frustration. I don’t handle injustice very well.

My friend was different. He asserted his innocence but went to prison. The state had that authority, you see. He was a citizen, so he submitted to that authority. What is truly remarkable is what happened next. He was an older man at the time, around the age of retirement. A pious man of prayer and faith, he smiled and was courteous to guards and fellow prisoners. He did not posture or stake out turf. He helped and cared for all in need. It was not long before this farmer without a high school diploma had become the de facto chaplain in his part of the prison. His gentle nature and reasonable character enabled him to be the sort of person any member of the prison community could talk to. And they talked. He was wise and they saw it. He became one who settled disputes mercifully and to the blessing of everyone. When he left that place, even cynical guards were sorry to see him go. They all felt they had been in the presence of holiness.

Look at verses 17 and 18 again. Read them slowly and ask how someone might live out each of the wise things that James lists there. I see my Lord’s good work through my unjustly imprisoned friend. He heard Jesus calling him to service in that conviction, a service which he rendered with gentleness, peaceability, reasonableness, mercy, and sincerity; it bore much and good fruit.

Wednesday of Pentecost 17 – Psalm 54

Psalm 54

1 O God, save me by your name,
    and vindicate me by your might.
O God, hear my prayer;
    give ear to the words of my mouth.

For strangers have risen against me;
    ruthless men seek my life;
    they do not set God before themselves. Selah

4 Behold, God is my helper;
    the Lord is the upholder of my life.
He will return the evil to my enemies;
    in your faithfulness put an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
    I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
For he has delivered me from every trouble,
    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of holding a baby girl in my hands while I poured the waters of Baptism. That is an incredibly powerful experience for those of you who have not had it. As I poured that water over her head, I recited the ancient words, “I baptize you into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Did you catch the preposition there? It is terribly important; I baptize “into” the name. That rite, both water and Word, placed that fresh and young life into the mighty and loving name of God.

Now, when she prays, God will always hear her prayers. He has promised to hear her as a child. She may pray, “our Father” and it is no metaphor. God has adopted her. He gives ear to the words of her mouth. He is always near to hear her prayer.

She will face enemies in her life. They will seek her life in a variety of ways. One day they will succeed. Will it be some disease or heart failure? Will it be violence or an accident? I do not know, but I know it will happen to her as it will happen to me. I pray it is a gentle death after a life full of joy, family, love, and service.

No matter when death comes for her, however, I know that God will have been her helper and the upholder of her life. Those who accost her will not do so with impunity. God will have vengeance upon them and return their evil upon their heads. He is precious to God now. She is in His Name, I know because through water poured out of my hands and words spoken by my voice, God put her there. 

Though she dies, she will be unharmed, even though she lay in a grave. For that baptism made another promise to that little girl that day. With a free will she will offer her sacrifices to God once more. She will give thanks to God’s name because it is a good name that has stood her well. He will deliver her from every trouble, including sin, death, and satanic foes. She will look upon them all in the triumph of resurrection.

That is what it means to pour that water on the head of a little girl in baptism. I praise God that he called me to do that. Join me in thanking him for my baptism and yours.

Tuesday of Pentecost 17 – Jeremiah 11:18-20

Jeremiah 11:18-20

1The Lord made it known to me and I knew;
    then you showed me their deeds.
19 But I was like a gentle lamb
    led to the slaughter.
I did not know it was against me
    they devised schemes, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
    let us cut him off from the land of the living,
    that his name be remembered no more.”
20 But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously,
    who tests the heart and the mind,
let me see your vengeance upon them,
    for to you have I committed my cause.

I had been on the local Lutheran high school board for a year or so when the group asked me to serve as the vice-chair. It was not a terribly difficult position. I said yes, probably without asking enough questions. Several months into my tenure, the chairman abruptly announced that he was resigning from both his position and the board itself. Suddenly, I was the chair. I had just started to come to terms with this new position when the phone call came. A parent was accusing the organization’s director, a close friend of the former board chair, of abusing her child. Then another call came. I had not understood what was happening with my predecessor, but clarity was now forthcoming. The former chair had set me up in a way. He knew what was coming, could not deal with an accusation of this nature lodged against his friend, and so he handed it off to me. I felt a little like a lamb led to slaughter at that point.

Those were probably some of the most trying and difficult days of my ministry. I am ever grateful to God for putting a skilled and brilliant attorney on the board with me. He assumed the role of vice-chair and was invaluable to me as we navigated investigation and consequences of this situation.

Jeremiah occupied a far loftier political sphere than the board of directors of a small Lutheran high school. He had been the advisor to King Josiah, and we think Jeremiah was largely behind the many religious reforms which Josiah enacted. You can read about them in II Kings 22 and 23. When Josiah died, his sons rejected Jeremiah’s advice and we think his career as an oracular prophet started then. We are not sure which event he is talking about in this passage, but it appears that Jeremiah had a near escape as someone laid a trap for him. He says that he was like a lamb led to the slaughter. The consequences were dire. They seem to have meant the slaughter part quite literally and not metaphorically. But God revealed all to Jeremiah. He was saved and Jeremiah lays the whole affair in God’s capable hands. If there is vengeance to be taken, God will do that. Jeremiah looks forward to God’s judgment.

Jeremiah’s position is difficult to take. We often want to exact our vengeance on others. I was not happy with the former board chair or the executive director for blindsiding me with this. But ultimately this is in God’s hands. We did what we could do and had to do, and I believe we did the right things. If there is a millstone to be hung about anyone’s neck it is not mine to hang it. That belongs to God.

Lessons and Hymns for Pentecost 18 B (Proper 21)

These are the Scripture readings you will hear this coming Sunday:

Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29

James 5:13-20

Mark 9:38-50

Click here to read the above lessons and the propers for the day.

Christ Jesus, the Son of God, Cares for Us and Serves Us with the Forgiveness of Sins

When the people of Israel wept, complaining that they had no meat to eat (Num. 11:4), Moses cried out to the Lord that “the burden of all this people” was too heavy for him and that he was “not able to carry all this people alone” (Num. 11:11–14). So the Lord had Moses gather “seventy men of the elders of Israel” (Num. 11:16), and the Lord “took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders” (Num. 11:25), so that Moses would not carry the burden alone. All who thus labor are honored, and all the people are cared for, in the name of the Lord (Mark 9:39–41). Everything is done with reference to Christ Jesus. So we cling to Him, and we flee from all sins that would separate us from Him (Mark 9:42–48). The life of the Church is one of repentant faith in Christ. Christians confess their sins to one another, and they “pray for one another,” that each would be raised up and healed by the Lord Jesus, who covers “a multitude of sins” and saves our souls from death (James 5:15–20).

These are the hymns we will sing:

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (LSB 803)

Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service (LSB 848)

Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds (LSB 465)

Angels from the Realms of Glory (LSB 367)

Church of God, Elect and Glorious (LSB 646)

Monday of Pentecost 17 – Prayer of the Day

Prayer of the Day

 O God, whose strength is made perfect in weakness, grant us humility and childlike faith that we may please You in both will and deed; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

It was two in the morning, and something was not right. My wife and I had been rejoicing for a couple months that our daughter was sleeping through the night. Now, this night, she was decidedly not sleeping. She was in her crib in the next room shrieking. My daughter has always been someone who could fill a room with her voice. It is a beautiful voice which now she puts to wonderful purposes in various choirs. It was not so great at two in the morning when she was a little child. It was certainly not something you could ignore.

Catacomb iconsI lurched out of bed and stumbled across the hall. By the dim illumination of a night light, I could see her sitting up in her crib, tears streaming down her face. She saw me. Immediately her arms lifted in the universal language of little children: Pick me up! I gathered her into my arms, and she rested her head against my shoulder. We walked around the room and down the hall a couple of times and soon she was back asleep and resting in her crib once more.

We pray for a child-like faith in this prayer. What makes faith “child-like”? It is not innocence or some purity, but the complete trust of a child in their parent. That gesture by my daughter of lifting her arms and asking me to pick her up and hold her is what I am thinking of. I never did figure out what troubled her that night, but the embrace of a parent was exactly what she wanted and needed. The ancient Christians prayed with their hands raised with their eyes wide open. The practice we have of eyes closed, hands folded, and head bowed came to prominence in the medieval period. This image and those ancient Christians really remind me of my daughter that night.

One does not need to assume this posture to pray. God hears our prayers no matter what stance we take, but the child-like faith simply says, “Abba” which is the Aramaic for “Daddy.” God is the solution to every one of our problems.

Friday of Pentecost 16 – Mark 9:14-29

Mark 9:14-29

14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

After many years of work and owning his own business, my neighbor was ready to retire. His wife’s career had also come to its fulfillment. They were so happy. But then a few months into retirement, she was not feeling well. She grew jaundiced, her skin turning a sickly yellowish green. They went to the doctor and the news was grim: pancreatic cancer. The next months were excruciating. There was nothing to do. Pancreatic cancer has a tiny survival rate. It is resistant to almost every treatment. Finally, we all gathered in the little Methodist church they attended. It was the day of her funeral.

We were helpless before what we saw in those months of her sickness and death. Re-read this portion of Mark. Do you see how everyone in this story was helpless except Jesus? The disciples cannot cast out this demon. It is too much for them. The young boy is helpless before its grip on him. The father is helpless too. When he speaks to Jesus he seems to be at the end of hope. “If you can…” he says to the Lord. Jesus tells him that all things are possible for those who believe. “I believe, help my unbelief!” cries the man. He knows he needs help on every quarter, even this most personal and intimate element of his life – his belief. The demon is exorcised but the child lies on the ground. The people all say, “He’s dead.” And death renders all of us helpless.

There was no funeral home industry in the ancient world. People buried the members of their own family. They were used to being around dead bodies. They knew what they looked like. This child looked dead. He was probably dead. But our Savior and Lord is not deterred by death. Indeed, when reading the Gospels, he does not seem even to recognize it. He takes the child by the hand and stands him up, alive. Even death must yield to Him.

Our Lord’s final words in this reading are the key for us. He enjoins us to prayer. Prayer is simply the embodied action of faith. Prayer says that I cannot, but God can. We may say it in a hundred different ways, but finally it boils down to this simple admission. Like the disciples, like the boy, like the father, like my neighbor Gary and his wife, Sharon, like everyone else in this account and in this world, I am helpless. Our Sunday services often include the Kyrie – the prayer of the sick, blind, lame, and other helpless people in the Gospels and ever since that time: Lord, have mercy! He does have mercy on Sharon, my friend’s wife, and our neighbor from many years ago. He has mercy on you too.

Thursday of Pentecost 16 – James 3:1-12

James 3:1-12

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

In 1998 Andrew Wakefield, a gastroenterologist (a doctor specializing in the digestive tract and liver) published a now infamous study in the British medical journal the Lancet. In this article he purported to link the MMR vaccine to autism. Immediately, vaccination rates in England started to decline. A couple years later the article gained a readership in America and the same trend happened here.

The study was flawed. The Lancet should never have published it because the survey sample was so small, only 12 children. The methods were not scientific, and the conclusions not supported by the data. What was also not revealed was that Wakefield had recently invested in testing kit and in a vaccine which was a competitor to the widely used MMR vaccine. He stood to gain from this article. The article was eventually retracted, and Wakefield was stripped of his license to practice medicine. But these facts were not immediately known, and the flawed study has had a tremendous impact, continuing to be cited by people opposed to vaccines to this day. Indeed, I even use this illustration in this devotion with some trepidation. I know that there are still adherents to Wakefield’s thesis out there. Some of them attend Christian churches and may even be reading these words.   

James speaks of the tongue, our words, having an outsized and frequently negative effect. He was not only talking about the ancient world. His observations still hold today. We are by virtue of our broken human natures prone to believing the worst. In an absence of sound information, rumor and inuendo will be believed. Sometimes even in the presence of sound information, we prefer the rumor and inuendo. That happens to everyone, including Christians.

At the end of this passage, James asks if a spring can produce both fresh and salty water. Can a fig tree produce olives, or a grape vine produce figs? In purely human terms, of course the answer is no. But we cannot only look at this in human terms. On Sundays I wear a black shirt with a little white tab at the collar. That white tab sits over my larynx. The symbolism is not difficult. I am a sinner, but the words of absolution and Gospel are pure and from God.  In this age of the internet, we are surrounded by misinformation, spin, propaganda, rumor, and outright lies. The truth is hard to discern. Pray for discernment and wisdom, but also immerse yourself in the Word of Truth. Listen to its call to the twin love of God and of one another. We will make mistakes, sometimes listen to the wrong information, but this exhortation to love both God and our fellow human being will never really lead us astray.

Wednesday of Pentecost 16 – Psalm 116:1-9

Psalm 116:1-9

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard
    my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
    the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
    I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
    our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

I had just finished leading the chapel service for the parochial school where my wife taught in Murray, Utah. It was an 18-mile drive back to my office, most of it on the busy I-15 freeway. Like many cities, people always drove too fast and too closely together. Not far into my journey a fireball erupted in the oncoming lanes of traffic across the interstate’s median. A young woman, later analysis would never understand why, had suddenly veered into the undercarriage of a semi-trailer, causing the explosion that I saw. This then was followed by a cascade of accidents as cars were either directly impacted or were swerving to avoid the first accident. Multiple people died that day. I can close my eyes and still see that fireball erupting into the sky. It was very much like the special effects in a film, only this time it was not entertaining.

I was in the middle lane of traffic heading the other way. The press of cars simply carried me past this grisly scene. I remember seeing men and women rushing to twisted cars to help people. I wanted to join them, but I could not. Soon I was carried north and away, but that scene has never really left me.

The snares of death encompassed the psalmist in this psalm. He suffered distress and anguish. He cried out to the LORD: Deliver my soul! The rest of the psalm involves the Psalmist praising God for hearing and answering that prayer. The LORD preserves the simple. When I was brought low, he delivered me. Return to your rest, O my soul! The LORD has dealt bountifully with you. I walk before the LORD in the land of the living. He has delivered my soul from death. This psalm frequently is on my lips in some form as I close the door on my car after a journey. Every day he delivers my feet from stumbling, my eyes from tears, and my soul from death. One day I will die, but even on that day, he will deliver me from death again and I will walk forever in the land of the living.

Tuesday of Pentecost 16 – Isaiah 50:4-10

Isaiah 50:4-10

4 The Lord God has given me
    the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
    him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
    he awakens my ear
    to hear as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
    and I was not rebellious;
    I turned not backward.
I gave my back to those who strike,
    and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
    from disgrace and spitting.

7 But the Lord God helps me;
    therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
    and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
    He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
    Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
    Let him come near to me.
Behold, the Lord God helps me;
    who will declare me guilty?
Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;
    the moth will eat them up.

10 Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
    and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on his God.

He was not someone to be taken lightly. His comments could cut to the quick and being excoriated by him was never pleasant. We all were terrified of him my first year at the seminary. He assured us that he would have given Paul an A- for his sermon on the Areopagus in Acts 17. He was my homiletics professor.

When you got a little further into the term, however, or when you took another class or two from him, you learned that the piercing comments written in the margins of your papers and the in-class demolition of student arguments were in fact purposeful. If you took a moment to consider, you realized that he really cared about you, he cared enough to say what needed to be said about the immature and poorly reasoned things I written or said. He also cared for the people I would serve upon graduation.

He had a tongue that had been taught. He used it to sustain the weary. For thirty years I have come back again and again to the lessons I learned in his classes. When the well seems dry or the words are not forthcoming, I remember the discipline and techniques that he taught us. Not all my fellow students were sustained by him, I am sure. Some were perhaps not ready for what he said. After all, no one, short of Jesus, can be appropriate for all people.

When I read in this passage about my Lord’s instructed tongue which sustains the weary, I thank God for this man and his gift to me. I wish I had listened better than I did. But this man also turned me toward another whose tongue instructed him and all of us. The one who set his face like flint and turned his back to those who scourged him. He did not hide his face from the abuse they heaped upon him. He is Jesus. My friend and mentor rests in Christ today as someday I will too. But Jesus’ Word will still be sustaining the weary and giving hope to those walk in darkness and have no light.

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