Friday, March 06, 2015

On Order from Amazon

Two books...

Paul Johnson's biography of Dwight Eisenhower.

David McCullough's bio of the Wright brothers.

Selma and 'People by Get Ready' by Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions

This weekend, looking forward to seeing some of the coverage of commemorations of the heroic march in Selma. Hard to believe it's been fifty years.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other heroes of the civil rights movement, informed by their faith in Jesus Christ, are owed a debt of gratitude and honor for calling us to enact both the American creed of "all...are created equal" and, for we Christians, Jesus' command that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Below, from the same year as the Selma march, Curtis Mayfield's classic, People Get Ready. Like the slave songs of more than a century earlier, People Get Ready can be sung and heard as a straight-up expression of the gospel message that salvation from sin and death is a free gift of grace available all who trust Christ--taking a ride to the promised land of eternity with God through Christ alone. "You don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord."

But, like those earlier freedom songs, Mayfield, using the Biblical motifs of freedom and grace, meant the song to be an anthem for the slaves' descendants longing for freedom. And it became just that.

The later prominent version by Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck did the song musical justice, but its quality as a communal anthem is lost, giving way to a more post-modern song of individual defiance. That hardly fits the tone set by Mayfield himself.

In a Little While by U2

I love how raw this live version is.

Bono says the song is about a hangover. But it's funny how songs become something different in the imaginations of listeners. To me, it sounds like a vow that, no matter what, a reunion will happen in a little while.

Pardon me, but I like my vision of the song better than Bono's.

The bit at the end makes me wish that I could hear The Edge sing more solos from time to time.

"Slow down my beating heart..."

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Mr. Peabody Had a Wayback Machine

Lucky dog.

Teach Us to Pray, Part 2

[This is the second part of a midweek Lenten series happening at Living Water Lutheran Church in Springboro, Ohio. It was presented this evening.]

"Thy kingdom come,
"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven..."

Matthew 26:36-46
Matthew 26:29
Luke 10:9

To focus our thoughts on the second and third petitions of the Lord’s Prayer—“Thy kingdom come, [and] Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”—two quotes from Jesus found in the Gospels.

First, Luke 10:9, where Jesus says, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”

And second, Matthew 26:29, where, during the Last Supper, Jesus tells the disciples, “I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

These two statements from Jesus underscore the strange paradox in the New Testament’s discussion of “the kingdom of God.”

A paradox, you know, is a situation that seems to be made up of two contradictory conditions.

In the case of Jesus’ words about the kingdom of God—throughout the Gospels—the paradox is that God’s kingdom is already here, but it has not yet come.

Colossians 1:13-14, for example celebrates the fact that for believers in Christ, God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” The kingdom is an accomplished reality.

Yet, we await the final consummation of that kingdom with the risen Jesus’ return to the earth at the end of this old creation’s history.

The kingdom of God already is, but is not yet.

The original Greek New Testament word that we translate as kingdom is basileia. It’s a less static or stationary word than our word, kingdom. It really means reign.

You can be in the kingdom of God, under the reign of Jesus, no matter where you live. It isn't bound by borders, space, or time.

And because of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross and in the empty tomb, the kingdom of God has already come to believers.

The kingdom isn’t a physical place, then. That, you know, was, partly, the mistaken idea Jesus’ first followers had. Lots of Old Testament prophecy had said that the Messiah or Yahweh—God Himself—was coming to the earth to establish the kingdom of God.

Peter, James, John, and the rest believed that Jesus was the Messiah who would bring God's kingdom into the world and that's one of the reasons they were so devastated when Jesus was crucified. “We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel,” some of them said bleak-heartedly even after they’d heard (and disbelieved) reports of Jesus’ resurrection.

The disciples had expected Jesus to be the Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and get rid of the fake royalty, the Herod family, and establish God’s kingdom on earth. They thought that the kingdom of God was a political or economic program.

When Jesus rose from the dead, their hopes of a political rule by Jesus were revived. That’s why in Acts 1:6 ask the risen Jesus: “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”

It’s as though they’re telling Jesus, “Hey, that resurrection thing was a neat trick, Jesus. But when are you really going to get down to business and enact the kingdom?”

We may be inclined to laugh at the disciples and say something like the kingdom of God is spiritual, not physical. But that’s not true either.

Those who live in the kingdom of God are called—even commanded—by God to live in certain ways here and now. We’re to love God, love neighbors, seek justice, and believe in Jesus Christ.

The already/not yet kingdom of God is meant to be more than some private, ill-defined spiritual interchange that happens inside of us. It’s meant to change the ways in which you and I live each day.

If we have any doubt about this, we simply need to look at how Jesus teaches us to pray in the second and third petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Jesus teaches us to pray that God will reign here on earth today as directly, as totally, and as completely as He reigns from His throne in heaven.

But here’s the really dangerous thing about these two petitions: We ask God our Father to reign over this clump of earth, over you and me.

We are clumps of earth, after all. The scientists say it. But the Bible said it first: Remember that when God made Adam, He did it by scooping up dirt from the ground and breathing life into him.

To say, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is to invite God, first of all, to reign over our lives. As Martin Luther puts it in The Small Catechism, “God’s kingdom comes indeed without our praying for it, but we ask in this prayer that it may come also to us.”

On the night of His arrest, Jesus prayed that the Father would create some other way to bring His kingdom into being than for Jesus to go through the cross. But then He prayed, “…yet not I want but what you want.”

Our prayer should be the same as that of Jesus: Not my will, but Thy will be done, in this lump of clay, on this piece of earth.

It’s a fine thing for us to think of neighbors, friends, and even enemies when we pray these two petitions. We want the kingdom of God to come to all people. We want everyone to come to believe in Jesus Christ as God and Savior and so become part of God’s kingdom. We want God to reign over our church, homes, communities, schools, government leaders, and so on. We should pray that God’s kingdom come and God’s will be done among these people and institutions, all these clumps of earth.

But what Jesus, Who taught this prayer and then said this prayer Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane, shows us is that we must also be willing to live this prayer. (And that's the hard part.)

God brought His kingdom into the world through a flesh and blood Savior. It’s God’s plan that His kingdom will continue to come and His will keep on being done in this world as it is in heaven through the flesh and blood lives AND prayers of Christians.

It’s interesting to remember that Jesus didn’t teach what we know as the Lord’s Prayer to the disciples on His own initiative. He didn’t wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll teach the guys how to pray.” He taught the disciples how to pray after they’d asked him to do so. They had seen the kingdom of God in Jesus and they wanted to know how the kingdom could come to them, too.

Maybe if you and I would take up these two petitions earnestly, asking God to reign over us and have His way with us right in the guts of our everyday lives, others might ask us to teach them how to pray.

May the Lord teach us how to pray these petitions and mean them. Amen

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Why Did God Order People Destroyed in Old Testament Times?

Any time Christians start to delve into the Old Testament, the questions are bound to come up:

  • Why does God call for the extermination of the disobedient of His people?
  • Why does God command the extermination of other peoples?
  • Is this the same God we meet in Jesus and the New Testament? (A corollary to which might be, "How is the God of the Old Testament different from the deity claimed by terrorists who associate themselves with Islam?")
Good questions.

They came up again today during the noon Journey Through the Bible discussion of Deuteronomy, chapters 1 to 21, at Living Water Lutheran Church.

What I can offer is not so much answers as approximations, guesses of a believer and a student of Scripture.

The first thing to be said is that the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament, revealed in Jesus Christ. "I and the Father are one," Jesus says in John 10:30. 

Jesus never once repudiated any action of God in the Old Testament. In fact, He upheld them and all of God's commands, even those we deem problematic. 

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets..." Jesus says in Matthew 5:17. 

So, if there are things about God in the Old Testament that don't seem to comport with our picture of what God should be like, clearly we need to be willing to have our picture amended or expanded.

This wouldn't be a first, of course, for believers. In last Sunday's Gospel lesson, Mark 8:27-38, Peter confesses that Jesus is the Messiah, God's anointed redeemer king. But when Jesus explains that in His role as Messiah (or Christ), He would have to be rejected, suffer, and die, Peter flinched. He rebuked Jesus for misunderstanding what it meant to be Messiah. Jesus forcefully disabused Peter of his point of view. As Messiah and God-in-the-flesh, He told Peter that He would have to change His definition of Christ's role. We must do the same when we encounter Biblical portrayals of God that jar our preconceived notions of what God should be like.

The second thing to be said is that God doesn't desire the destruction of any human being. In Ezekiel 18:23, God says: "Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?" 

And in the New Testament, the apostle Peter writes: "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9).

God wants all people to turn from sin (for more on the two ways in which the Bible uses the term sin, see here) and trust in Him so that have life with Him. But God doesn't force repentance on people

The third thing is that the peoples outside of Israel whom God ordered destroyed had lived in open and long-term rebellion to God and utterly refused to repent. In Old Testament times, when people refused to repent, it led to disastrous consequences. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Once God had called His people, Israel, the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, into being, they were often used as instruments of His justice against unrepentant peoples.

Throughout the first 21 chapters of Deuteronomy, for example, God sends His people with orders to utterly destroy nations who engaged in idolatry--worshiping things other than God as God--and, as a result, engaged in injustice. Failure to worship God as God always results in injustices. When God is supplanted as God in people's minds, they feel they have license to play god with anyone they wish.

On the other hand, cities and kingdoms that repented in Old Testament times were spared, their cultures revived. Think of Nineveh after hearing the reluctant Jonah preach.

The Old Testament pattern is that God allowed peoples to engage in rebellion for long stretches, often sending emissaries to them to call for repentance, desiring that they turn to Him and live. But there would come a point of no return, when the rebellion, idolatry, injustice, barbarism, and hedonism reached such a point that God would stand for no more. Then the orders for destruction would come. (I believe that this still happens today.)

God would also order Israel to engage in the annihilation of others peoples lest, on conquering a land, His people adopt the idolatries of the conquered peoples. 

The fourth thing to mention has to do with why God called for the deaths of people within Israel for their rebellion. Israel was called together by God to be holy, a people set apart by Him not because of their inherent virtue or intrinsic strength. In fact, God's people are nothing without God making something of them. But God called Israel into existence in order to be "a light to the nations." 

Israel thus had an important role to play in the salvation of the world. It was to Israel that God revealed that God cares about relationships--our relationship with Him, our relationship with each other. 

To Israel, God revealed the nature of sin and that salvation comes not through works, but by faith in the God Who cares about us despite our unworthiness (check out Deuteronomy 19:1-12 and Ephesians 2:8-10, for example). 

And God set aside Israel to be the people that would become the nursery and the home of God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, Whose death and resurrection would make it possible for all people--Jews and Gentiles--to repent and believe in Him and live eternally with God. 

In a sense, the life of ancient Israel was like Lent on the modern Christian calendar. God formed and disciplined a people of His own making so that some--the early Christians, all of whom were from God's people Israel--would be ready to receive redemption. 

In Old Testament times, God purged His people of idolatry and sin and the resultant injustice so that at least some who paid heed to Him would know the Savior when He arrived in our world. 

God refused to risk having His truth utterly adulterated by countenancing false faith among His chosen people. This was the historic burden of God's people. 

Tevye, the lead character of Fiddler on the Roof, might well have spoken for God's Old Testament people when he said to God: "I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?"

There are several things that distinguish all of this from the justifications of contemporary terrorist groups for their activities. 
The most important reason though is that in Jesus Christ, God has taken all the destruction for sin, idolatry, and injustice upon Himself. He stands in our place on the cross so that, when He rises all who surrender to Him may rise with Him.

Christ then, has ushered in a new covenant. the fulfillment of the old covenant initiated with the likes of Abraham and Moses.

In Christ, God has destroyed the power of sin and death and their earthly manifestations (like injustice) over the lives of those who repent and believe in God revealed in Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

The call of God's people today, the Church, is to proclaim and live the good news of new life through faith in Jesus Christ. This is how God conquers today. This is how God displaces evil. 

But all that God ordained in Old Testament times was a necessary prerequisite for the coming of Jesus and for the Church's proclamation about Him. May we be faithful in our call to proclaim Jesusl! 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Us Two by A.A. Milne

Things are nicer with two.
Wherever I am, there's always Pooh, There's always Pooh and Me. Whatever I do, he wants to do, "Where are you going today?" says Pooh: "Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too. Let's go together," says Pooh, says he. "Let's go together," says Pooh. - See more at:
Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
"Where are you going today?" says Pooh:
"Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too.
Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.
"Let's go together," says Pooh.
Read the whole thing.

C.S. Lewis once wrote in a letter, "Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." It seems that all of us get to a point in our lives when we think that we're too old for fairy tales or other children's literature. We want hardness and cynicism. We want independence, self-sufficiency, and being "grown-up," whatever any of that really means. But the best children's literature has a way of drilling down to truth, not with innocence--because who, after all, is innocent, even at birth?--but with vulnerable honesty, showing us that life is best with others whom we love and who love us.

Little in adult literature is so honest as Milne's poem. Simply, he articulates the desire, the need, we all have for people who will share, really share, in our lives, not just our houses or our beds. We need people who are moving in the same direction as we are, who can face their fears and relish their triumphs along with us, and with whom we can share mutual love and respect even when we may be mad at each other, even when we struggle with the dragons.

Having been made in the image of the triune God--one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--I believe that we are meant to be we's and us'es. We are made for community. We are made to be together.

And when there is just one someone who is at least willing always to say, "Let's go together," we are blessed beyond measure.

Wherever I am, there's always Pooh, There's always Pooh and Me. Whatever I do, he wants to do, "Where are you going today?" says Pooh: "Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too. Let's go together," says Pooh, says he. "Let's go together," says Pooh. - See more at:
Wherever I am, there's always Pooh, There's always Pooh and Me. Whatever I do, he wants to do, "Where are you going today?" says Pooh: "Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too. Let's go together," says Pooh, says he. "Let's go together," says Pooh. - See more at:
Wherever I am, there's always Pooh, There's always Pooh and Me. Whatever I do, he wants to do, "Where are you going today?" says Pooh: "Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too. Let's go together," says Pooh, says he. "Let's go together," says Pooh. - See more at:

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Radical Makeover

[This was shared with the people and friends of Living Water Lutheran Church in Springboro, Ohio during both this morning's traditional and contemporary worship celebrations.]

Mark 8:27-38
Imagine a scene with me. You're in your doctor's office for a consultation. You’ve had some tests and now you're back to see the doc to learn the results. She enters the office and says, "It’'s serious and the prognosis is not good." Your heart sinks.

Then, she says, "But I have a treatment that's going to make everything OK...I'm going to give you a facelift."

You know that can't be right: When you're up against a major illness, a superficial remedy won't do. In the face of radical maladies, only radical therapies stand a chance.

We human beings are confronted with a major malady.

It's called death and it's the result of sin.

You and I were created in the image of God, the pinnacle of God's creation. But sin has distorted our natures. In fact, one Biblical word for sin is taken from the experience a person has looking at their reflection in a pool of water, then having that reflection distorted when a stone is thrown into the water. The image gets distorted.

Because the human race is the pinnacle of the creation, the Bible says that all creation groans under the weight of our sin, the distortion of God's image in each of us.

The Bible uses the word, sin, in two different ways.

One way the Bible talks about sin is as a condition of our birth, original sin. This is what David is talking about in Psalm 51:5: "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." If you had human parents, you were born sinful, too. Sin is a debt we owe to God. You and I are born with a debt so crippling we could never possibly pay it off.

But if that sounds bad, it gets worse. Being born in sin means that we have an inborn inclination to add to our debts by committing sins. This is what the Lutheran confessions call concupiscenceThis is the other way the Bible speaks of sin: a particular violation of the will of God as expressed in the Ten Commandments: murder, taking God's Name in vain, failing to help our neighbor in need.

Because of the condition of original sin, our sinfulness is stubbornly evidenced in all our thinking, speaking, and living. Because we are born sinners, we sin naturally.

In Romans 7:15, the apostle Paul writes: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do [obey God’s commands] I do not do, but what I hate I do."

We are born in sin and we find ourselves incapable of refraining from sin.

And the Bible doesn’t soft pedal what that means: "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

"Wait," we might say. "I'm not perfect. But I've never committed any of the really big sins. I've never murdered. I've never committed adultery. I've never stolen."

James 2:10 says: "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

So, in sin, we have a major illness and the prognosis is death. Superficial therapies won’t do. That's what Jesus is talking about in today's Gospel lesson.

Turn to Mark 8:27-38 (page 705), please. Near the beginning of a conversation with the disciples, Jesus asks them, "Who do you say I am?” In Mark 8:29, Peter says, "You are the Messiah [or, the Christ]."

The title, Christ (from Christos as it appears in the New Testament, which was written in Greek) or Messiah (from the Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written), means Anointed One. The kings of God's people were always anointed with oil on being enthroned. The Old Testament had repeatedly foretold of an ultimate Messiah who would bring God’s rule to earth.

Through the centuries, certain popular expectations developed about the coming Christ or Messiah. The people of first-century Judea, the place to which Jesus, God-in-the-flesh, came to live, die, and rise, thought that the Messiah would make what would amount to cosmetic changes, the moral equivalent of a facelift as a cure for cancer.

To them, the problems they faced had nothing to do with themselves or their own deficiencies. (This is a common theme in human history. The late Karl Menninger once quoted a folk song that said, "Everything I do that's wrong is someone else's fault.")

Jesus' fellow Judeans wanted a king who would toss the Romans out of their land. They wanted an end to oppressive government regulations. They wanted the rich to pay their fair share in taxes and they wanted to the Romans to ease up on the poor. They wanted a king who would do their bidding. Their idea of what God should do in their lives was very different from what God had in mind.

That's why Peter's declaration of faith in Jesus as the Messiah was dangerous. Jesus had to instruct the disciples on what it means to confess Jesus as the Christ. He didn't want to feed their false expectations. Jesus had come to do more than offer facelifts on dying people!

Look at Mark 8:31: "He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again."

The therapy for our sin, Jesus is saying, begins with Him.

He, Who never once sinned, would undergo the death we deserve for our sin so that the debt can be paid for all who repent and believe in Jesus.

But when Peter heard Jesus predict that He would suffer, be rejected, and be killed, he couldn’t take it. It certainly did sound like a very compelling campaign platform!

Look at Mark 8:32: "Peter took him [Jesus] aside and began to rebuke him." The word rebuke, epitimao in the Greek in which Mark originally wrote, means to warn, upbraid, condemn, set straight.

Imagine this: Peter has just declared Jesus to be God's Anointed King and now he has the audacity to tell Jesus how to do His job!

Verse 33: "But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’"

When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, you'll remember, he tried to lure Jesus away from suffering, rejection, and the cross. He did so because if Jesus was faithful in taking these agonies onto Himself, He would pay our debt in full and thereby empower all who turn from sin and trust in Him as their God to be raised just as God the Father raised Jesus on the first Easter.

Jesus knew that He needed to fulfill His purpose for coming to earth, whatever pain He caused Himself. He couldn't let Satan stand in His way.

Now Jesus applies the name of Satan to Peter!

Peter may have thought that He was doing a nice thing, like the church member who says, "Pastor, I know that the Bible says that Jesus is the only way to eternity with God, but you make people feel uncomfortable when you tell the truth like that."

"Niceness" of the kind Peter exhibits here leads people away from God.

"Niceness" like this suits Satan's purposes just fine. Jesus, in essence, is telling Peter,

In fact one of the great afflictions of the Christian churches in North America and Europe today is that too often, we've become the Church of Nice rather than the Church of Christ.

Jesus was telling Peter, in essence: "I am the great Physician and My suffering, rejection by others, and death on a cross are the first part of the cure. So, Peter, get out of My way!"

Then, Jesus gives the second part of His radical therapy for our sin and death.

Look at verses 34 and 35: "...he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it."

Here we see that to believe that Jesus is the Christ--the King, the Lord of all--is more than just saying the right words on Sunday mornings.

To believe that Jesus is the Messiah is, first of all, to surrender ourselves, even to the point of discomfort and death, to God's only aim for our lives, our sole aim in life.

God's sole aim for our lives is articulated in 2 Corinthians 3:18, which says: "But we all [all of us who trust in Christ as God and Savior], with uncovered face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

If sin has distorted the image of God within us, it's God's aim to infuse us with the image of God the Son so that we can begin to experience human life as God intended for it to be lived.

God aims to make us over into the very image of Jesus!

As we trust in Jesus each day, the Holy Spirit works a miracle: We who have been distorted by sin are made over in the image of Christ!

It doesn't happen fully within our time on this earth.

And on the way to our resurrection from the dead, we won't avoid suffering, rejection, or death any more than Jesus did.

But we will become more and more like Jesus.

1 John 3:2 says, "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

So, to believe in Jesus means, first of all, to surrender to Him even to the point of discomfort and death.

To believe that Jesus is the Messiah is, secondly, to embrace the life style of Jesus.

When, through Jesus' death and resurrection, you understand that you are number one in God's eyes, you’re freed from “looking out for number one."

Philippians 2:3-4 says: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."

John Stott tells the story of a college classroom in India. The professor, a Hindu, realized that one of his students was a Christian. "If you Christians lived like Jesus Christ," the professor told the student, "India would be at your feet tomorrow." That professor could as easily say that to any Christian in this country: "If you Christians lived like Jesus Christ, America would be at your feet."

No Christian wants to have others at their feet, of course. Like our Lord, we come to serve, not to be served.

But our joy as Christians is only made complete when we share Christ with others and they too, come to believe in Jesus as the Christ.

Sin and death threaten to separate us from God for eternity. God's cure is radical, but sure. It begins with the Christ, God the Son, suffering, dying, and rising for us. And it's fulfilled when, after confessing Jesus with our lips, we confess Him with our lives, taking up our crosses and following Him: submitting ourselves to the death of our old sinful selves, committing ourselves to letting God make us over in the image of Jesus Himself, and embracing the very life of self-sacrifice and unstinting love that Jesus lived.

May God give us the power to have a faith that's more than words, a faith that shows in our whole lives.

May we submit to the radical cure that gives us life with God forever!