Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Sunday's sermon (The one about faith)


October 6, 2019
17th Sunday after Pentecost
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
Psalm 37:1-10
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10

Please pray with me,
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O God, our rock and our redeemer.  Amen.

Increase our faith! 
How often have we said something like that?

Increase our faith! 
That apparently the faith we have is not great enough. 
Like faith comes in different sizes.  Small, medium, large….super sized? 
Is it a muscle that we can increase? 
Have you ever met someone and thought…wow their faith is amazing…I wish I had faith like that. 

I’m reminded of a scene from The Empire Strikes Back.  (It was a bit long for worship, but you can watch it here.)
Luke is in the swamp with Yoda and his Jedi skills are being honed. 
He is lifting stones, backpacks, even the droid, R2D2….
Luke wants to get his ship out of the swamp…he tries to use the force to do so, but he lacks the force or the faith…he lifts is up a little, but can’t seem to get it out of the puddle.  He gets all pouty…and says,

Luke: I can’t. It’s too big.
Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.

Yoda then demonstrates by focusing on the ship and using the force to move the craft out of the water and onto the land, next to Luke.
Amazed, Luke says:

Luke: I don’t, I don’t believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.

To the apostles in our gospel passage this day, faith is something that they want more of.  They feel that they do not have enough…that more is needed…

Would you really want to say to a mulberry tree be uprooted and planted in the sea…and have it do so?  If we had faith to uproot trees and move mountains, clean up days around the church would be much easier…not to mention moving from one house to another.  But that’s not what it’s all about. 

Perhaps this is similar to the person who states: "I can't do it," and a parent/mentor type insists: "Yes, you can." They try and discover that they can do it.
I see this often in my 5-year-old nephew. He’ll be half way across the monkey bars and he’ll say, “I can’t do it!”  And his dad replies…”But you are doing it!!”

How many of us have said, "I can't do door to door evangelism."
"I can't talk to him/her about the hurt they have caused me."
"I can't forgive him/her." It would seem to me that the issue in such statements is not that of "can't do," but one of fear -- which is the opposite of faith.

How do we, in our everyday actions do things that we do not think we are capable of doing? 

Or maybe a better question is how many of us are gifted in ways we cannot see, but are living faithful lives through small and simple actions?

We are invited to take part in simple actions so often that we may even overlook them.  I received this message from a Trinity member who took part in a simple action:

This person wrote, “I just dropped off a meal.  There had been a lot of visitors and people at that house today…I sensed their tiredness and stayed for just a short time…yet in that time, I deeply felt Trinity’s ministry of joyfully giving and thankfully receiving.  There was such a loving connection between us as member of our church family.  I saw and felt God today…right in the center of our gathering of 3.  Thank you for that opportunity to serve.”   

What simple action have you been invited to take part in? 
How might this action be God showing faith to you and to others? 

A brief prayer I read recently is related to this text:
"O God, I don't pray for enough faith to uproot mulberry trees. I can get enough dynamite and bulldozers to do that. What I need and ask for is enough faith to move me.” 

What I need and ask for is enough faith to move me. 

Because here’s the thing…
God has given us all the faith that we need. 
Sometimes we just forget how amazing that gift and blessing is. 
We are given the ability to do exactly what God calls us to do through simple acts of love and service. 

This faith is a gift.  And it’s not just free-floating faith…that is just out there…it is faith and trust in Jesus Christ. 

Faith isn’t something that is ours alone that we can change and grow and increase…it is through God’s promise in Jesus Christ that we receive the basic forgiveness we are called to share…

What if, instead of asking for more faith, the question or request from the disciples was this:

Lord, draw us deeply into your creation and resurrection…into that forgiveness and grace. 

Instead of us asking for our faith to be increased, what if we asked God to draw us more deeply into God’s creation and resurrection…into God’s forgiveness and grace. 

That’s really what it’s all about. 
Being drawn in to God’s promise, God’s love, God’s forgiveness and God’s grace. 

Knowing that God calls us to tasks that we may not be ready for…but we go anyway, trusting in the promise of the resurrection….and knowing the forgiveness and grace we have already received and will continue to receive. 

How are we drawn in week after week?  At the meal at this table. 

This is the table that speaks to us and says…
All are welcome.
No matter where you think you are in your faith journey, no matter what your sins…there is a place for you. 
No matter what your questions, problems, fears, doubts….there is a place for you. 

And it's all about drawing people in to this place.  
It’s drawing people in, to feel God’s love and grace.
It’s drawing people to this table…to receive the gift of God. 
It’s helping all humanity to see our imperfections, our faults and our struggles…and the reassurance that we are not alone.  That no matter who we are, God loves us.
And that no matter what we do, God loves us. 

That is what is at the root of faith…A loving, compassionate, forgiving and saving God.  Who wants the world to know that it is loved. 

So, we ask God together, draw us in…
Dear God,
Draw us into this place for forgiveness and fellowship, for honesty and love for one another. 
Draw us into this table…where bread and wine overflow for everyone, where sins are forgiven and grace is poured out….
And draw us more deeply into you…in our homes, in our schools, in our places of work…that you may guide our hearts and minds to share this redeeming love and grace with those whom we meet. 
And may the peace, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and let all God’s people say, Amen. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

St. Michael and all angels sermon


September 29, 2019
St. Michael and all Angels
Daniel 10:10-14; 12:1-3
Psalm 103:1-5, 20-22
Revelation 12:7-12
Luke 10:17-20

Please pray with me,
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be acceptable and suitable in your sight, O God, our rock, our strength and our redeemer.  Amen. 

Well, here are, celebrating St. Michael and All Angels, and BOOM, a reading from Revelation. 

I have to say, as I looked into the texts today and sat at pericope (our weekly pastors’ bible study) my colleague and friend, Pastor Mark Rigg said, you should preach on Revelation…and I said…okay. 

Eep. 

Revelation, a text when even just mentioned brings fear or worry or confusion to many. 

It is unique to the New testament, as an apocalyptic text, yet even at the beginning of the book, we are enlightened to what message it has to proclaim. 

It begins with “The revelation of Jesus Christ,” so in essence we are told at the very beginning of this book that ‘revelation’ expresses the idea that God, through Jesus Christ, and through this text will share secrets about heaven and earth, past, present and future.  Yet, isn’t that in essence what the entire Bible does for us? 

As we read the word of God, we listen to and look for how God’s love and salvation is extended to all of God’s people time after time after time. 
Throughout the Old Testament it was the sweeping saga of salvation.  God creates humanity, humanity messes up, God swoops in to save them, they praise God, then inevitably humanity messes up again, God swoops to save them again, they praise God, then they mess up…you get the gist. 

As the New Testament begins, we hear the stories of Jesus’ life, teaching, healing, saving, dying, his resurrection and how the church is called to go on in Christ’s absence.  And as the New Testament wraps up, we have the Revelation to John.  What an ending, right? 

A book filled with imagery, wars, angels, dragons, Satan and all sorts of other interesting characters. 

Even today’s passage has Michael and his angels fighting against a dragon in a war in heaven.   

But the reality, for us, even as we hear a text containing warring angels and dragons, it’s a passage that speaks to us today.  We hear a story of the battle of good vs. evil.  That’s not a new story. 

From the beginning of creation, all that God made was good, yet evil entered in and with it sin and a fall from grace and with it our continual need of God’s presence, God’s love and God’s grace in our lives. 

I used to think that evil just lurked in dark places, that I could just stay in well lit places and avoid evil all together.  Not the case, right?  A friend mine in high school gave be a pin that said, ‘lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.’  Funny to think back on that now. 

In the movie the Usual Suspects, one of the characters says, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.” 

The devil, evil is here.  And so, the fact that God’s angels battled evil, too, provides some comfort.  Yet the way they battled was one with a message of peace and hope and love.  Picture a fight like that. 

When the host of angels appeared to announce the birth of Jesus, the Messiah, they were an army, but they were an army gathered to bring about peace on earth. 

That’s a fight that we are still part of this day. 

When we sense evil, when we see the devil at work, we are called to respond with acts of love, grace and peace.  It’s not always easy, but 99.9 percent of the time, we know the right thing to do, yet we struggle to speak words of love to words of hate. 

We struggle to take actions that will lead to justice and peace when they go against the norms of society. 

We struggle to have civil conversations with one another when it is far easier to put up a wall, to block someone on Facebook or just ignore those who have different opinions than we do. 

The war is here and now. 

The earth and all its inhabitants are not at peace, which is why this text speaks to us today. 
This good vs. evil is ongoing, until we all gather together at the great heavenly banquet. 

So, how do we take part? 

We do so armed with love, with words of forgiveness and grace, with arms open, and with a readiness to change the world. 

Little do we know how ready we actually are, but we’ve been ready for a while.  We’ve been ready since we were washed in the waters of baptism. 

Welcomed into God’s family, we are siblings in Christ, loved by God and gifted with words and actions to proclaim God’s redeeming love to all the world. 

You may not have been ready on your baptism day to proclaim God’s love, you may have been in the mood to cry and nap…even if you were baptized as an adult, but that day we were ready.  And since then we have lived and learned and grown in the grace of God to love and serve our neighbors and to bring God’s peace here and now. 

Creation is crying out for peace.
Our world is crying out for peace.
Our nation is crying out for peace. 

It’s time. 

The hip hop group Arrested Development, that has been together since the late 90s seems to respond to the cries for peace that are surrounding us today. 
In their song, “Each Generation” the chorus goes like this…

'Each Generation must have their own revolution
You can’t create one for me and I can’t create one for you
And we gotta move onward at the pace of love
let truth be your fighters, let peace be your guns.

we gotta move onward at the pace of love
let truth be your fighters, let peace be your guns
we all have our own race to run'

Let God’s truth be our fight,
Let God’s peace be our guns,
We gotta move onward at the pace of love.

Let God’s truth, peace and love reign in this place, in our communities, nation and world through our words and actions. 

And may the peace, which surpasses all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and let all God’s people say, amen. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Reaching the Beach...again!

Hey all,
I'm very excited to be participating in Reach the Beach again this year. 
Can you tell from the picture?  
No really, I took this selfie last year just before my nighttime 9 mile run.  I was a bit nervous, but I have to say it was the most holy run ever.  The sky was clear and was full of stars and the road contained the blinking lights of vests of runners who ran in front of me.  It was quiet, serene and amazing.  
Reach the Beach is an over 200 mile relay race in scenic (aka - hilly) New Hampshire.  The experience was amazing last year and I’m looking forward to another memorably experience this year and another opportunity to raise money for the campership fund for Camp Calumet Lutheran. 
For me, camp has been and continues to be a place where I can truly be myself.  It’s a place where I learned about the love of God, the value of honest friendships and gained leadership skills that have transformed and shaped the way I do ministry today.  
Another big thing for me, especially when it comes to overnight camp, is the important place it has in the lives of youth and young adults.  We are connected to one another so often through social media and screens more than we see each other face-to-face, which works for some things, but hinders others.  
When you go to camp, you get to live with people you may not choose to live with.  You may be in a cabin or a tent with campers or a co-counselor that are much different than you are.  During your week, two-weeks or entire summer together, you learn to live with others.  You learn that your personal behaviors and actions impact those in closest proximity to you.  In a day and age when we are more ready to speak rather than to listen, living with others at camp forces us (in a good way) to live in the context with care and concern for those around us.  
As I enter into the last week leading up to Reach the Beach, I hope you can help in one or more of the following ways.  
1)  Please check out my fundraising page.  See the video of me in my staff shirt from the 1990s and learn more about why I’m running this year.  
2)  Share my fundraising page with people you know love camp and want to help more kids experience camp.
3)  Pray for the group of runners, drivers, chaplains and luggers (they help get mattresses and sleeping stuff situated for our runners & drivers) who will be participating in Reach the Beach on September 13 & 14.
4)  Make a donation of any size on my fundraising page. (Options to donate offline are there, too.  If you are local to me, you can hand me a donation in person.) 
Last year as I trained and ran, I helped raise funds for the campership fund for Camp Calumet Lutheran (the camp that shaped my faith and life as a kid and young adult.) Last year our runners, chaplains, drivers and luggers helped raise enough money that Calumet was able to lower the cost of camp by $100 for every camper. Imagine that!?!  If you can help in any way, it is deeply appreciated.  
Thanks for reading. 
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your support. 
+peace

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Let mutual love continue


September 1, 2019
12th Sunday after Pentecost
Proverbs 25:6-7
Psalm 112
Hebrews 13:1-8
Luke 14:1, 7-14

Please pray with me,
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be acceptable and suitable in your sight, our rock, our strength and our redeemer.  Amen.

Humility is the understanding or will to accept yourself and to not be egotistical or arrogant, not to mention being accepting. 
Humiliation is the act of being humiliated by something or someone, so in a sense, it's embarrassment or self-loathing. 
The two are easily confused, but they are vastly different.

Here’s an example of humiliation and humility. 
The scene comes from the movie Billy Madison.   Billy Madison is a lazy adult who in order to inherit his father’s hotel empire must repeat Kindergarten through 12th grade and pass them all.  When he enters the third grade, he is making fun of other students in his class and the teacher asks him to keep quiet or he will not pass.  Later, this class attends a field trip and the following happens. 

<<<For those of you reading for the first time, know that the following clip is longer than the one I shared in worship.  I cut the clip just as the teacher gets on the bus.  Be ready, if you're watching now, that this clip then becomes a bit, well, not worship appropriate.  Just so you know. ;) >>>


We can see how Billy Madison helped shift the entire class dynamic by humbling himself so that Ernie is not embarrassed by the class. 

In a completely different example, Abby Wambach, two-time Olympic god medalist, FIFA World Cup champion andthe highest all-time international goal scorer for male and female soccer players, used to always do the following after scoring a goal.  

After the ball went into the net, she would point. 
First, she would point to the teammate who assisted.
Then she would point to the defender who protected them.
Then she would point to the midfielder who ran tirelessly.
Then she would point to the coach who dreamed up that play.  
Then she would point to the bench player who willed this moment into existence.  

She would always honor and thank the people who made that goal possible.  
(Abby shares this experience and many others in her most recent book, Wolfpack)

Today’s lessons are all about pride and humility. 
Proverbs says, do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great; For it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

Our passage from Hebrews talks about hospitality, loving relationships and not letting things get in the way of God’s relationship with us…

Are you sensing a theme here?  We are not to puff ourselves up so much, or get so caught up all that all we focus on is what we are doing…not why we are doing it. 

In our gospel lesson we are called to take on the ability of being humble…not to expect to be the best or attempt to be the best, but to humble ourselves…and the Lord will exalt us. 

In response to this week's texts, The Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe writes,

“The key to it all is a healthy humility.  Not a humility that negates or devalues anyone. Instead, a humility that recognizes all as equals before God.  A humility that values all human life and tries to see Christ in all.  How many of us would dare to invite those who are neglected and marginalized to dine with us and celebrate with us?  Mutual love combined with humility challenges the divisions society insists on creating.  What can we do as church to live in God’s love?” (To read the rest of her reflection on this week's texts, please check out her post here: RevGalBlogPals)

I like that phrase ‘healthy humility.’  It’s okay and good and healthy, even to accept ourselves for who we are and to not be arrogant or egotistical.  This humility that Jesus shows us in our gospel lesson today is not one of making fun of others or putting others down, but he lifts up the truth that there is room for everyone at the table of the heavenly banquet.  Humility to me shows the importance of lifting others up instead of putting them down. 

The reality is that in our places of work, our classrooms, our communities, our social media feeds and society in general seems to have taken a shift from humility to humiliation.  That is easier to put someone down rather than lift someone up.  We too often shame one another for their faults or differences rather than see and honor the diversity around us. 

It’s gotten brutal out there folks.  But the church has an important voice here and now. 

We are called to preach a gospel of unconditional love.  We are called to live lives that present humility to the world around us.  We are called to tell others and invite others to this table and a meal that welcomes EVERY human being…no matter who they are, no matter what their lifestyle, no matter what challenges and struggles they have faced. 

I think that, in itself, is humbling…that no matter who we are…God loves us.
No matter what we have done…God loves us.
No matter what sins we have committed, or will commit in the future…God loves us.

Only we ourselves, and God truly knows what is in our hearts and on our minds. 
And even knowing all about us…our faults, our failures, our inadequacies, loves us anyway! 

That is truly humbling…and all we can do about it, is put one foot in front of the other and come forward to this railing, to this table…and taste and see the unconditional love that God has for us. 

And this table…this sanctuary…this church…all of this is God’s presence in our world…God’s invitation is here for everyone all of the time. 

Knowing we are welcomed at this table, knowing we are far from perfect, we are still called, charged, tasked to invite as many as we can to this place. 
We are called to lift others up, we are called to be the living breathing body of Christ in the world around us. 

What does that look like in your everyday life? 
It may be different for each and everyone of us.

Our reading from Hebrews offers some guidelines…
Let mutual love continue.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers.
Let your marriage be held in honor.
Remember those who are in prison.
Keep your lives free from the love of money.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have.

These are some reminders of how we are called to turn from ourselves and live lives in community with others as the body of Christ in the world around us. 

What does it look like for you? 

For me, it is the simple process of getting to know my neighbors.  Strange, right? But I barely know the folks who live up and down this street.  So, for me it means spending more time on the front porch greeting others as they walk by on these beautiful fall evenings.  It means engaging in conversations with the families and folks who live across the street from me.  It is simple, but it builds community and connects us all. 
Some days I’m getting it just right and other days, I’d rather just keep to myself. 
But even on those days, I’m welcome in this place, with a word of forgiveness and grace to go back out and try again. 

“We are to choose God’s holy ways – every day and every moment.  And when we fail, there is forgiveness and grace enough to begin again.” (Another beautiful insight from The Rev. Dr. Rachel Keefe)

There is forgiveness and grace enough to begin again. 
Receiving that forgiveness and grace frees us to begin loving, serving and caring for our neighbors again and again and again. 

Knowing that you are loved and forgiven and welcomed at this table, how will you let mutual love continue?  In your heart, your home, your community and in God’s world? 

It’s a simple call, but not always easy.
Thanks be to God for this community that loves and accepts us for who we are and strengthens us to share that love and forgiveness in the world around us. 

And now may the peace, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and let all God’s people say, amen. 

PS. By the time I preached this sermon for third time I was worried that the take home messages would be, it's cool to pee your pants and go point at people.  But hopefully, the images and illustrations help us all to be reminded that it isn't about us, but it is...in our ability to humble ourselves, lift others up and share the love of God while when we do.  

Monday, July 8, 2019

It's all about hospitality.


July 7, 2019
4th Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 66:10-14
Psalm 66:1-9
Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Please pray with me,
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be acceptable and suitable in your sight, O God, our rock, our strength and our redeemer.  Amen. 

It was just over a year ago when 13 youth and 4 adults all filled with the spirit, yet quite exhausted returned from the National Youth Gathering in Houston.  This past week many memories from a year ago popped up on my social media feeds. 

This picture is the last meal I had in Houston, at the airport. 


It's the biggest breakfast quesadilla I’ve ever seen...and eaten.

Everything is bigger in Texas. 

We ate so well when we were in Houston, but the place that left the biggest impact on our stomachs and our hearts was Daisy’s Deli.  We found this place on Yelp and were wondering why the address led us to an administrative building.  Yet, as we filed in past the security guard and the other folks dressed for work we found this small deli on the first floor.  I’ve talked about this place before, but it was definitely a highlight of our trip. 

Here we are with the owner, Pil, and another employee who took care of us not once, but twice while we were in Houston.  


Our bellies were full, and Pil was a little weepy when we asked to take this picture with her after our second visit.  

I know this place left a huge impression on us because of the hospitality they showed to us.  They welcomed us in, took great care in getting our order correct, which is sometimes tricky with a group of 17, and we watched them prepare each burrito and bagel sandwich fresh for us. 

It’s all about hospitality, isn’t it.  Especially when you travel.  That was one of the first things we talked about as we were leaving for Houston, as soon as we boarded the vans to take us to the airport, we were dependent upon the hospitality of others until we returned back to good ol’ Robesonia. 

Maybe some of you have experienced something similar in your travels.  That as soon as you leave the comfort of your own home or community, you are dependent upon the work and service of others for your well being while you are away. 

It’s all about hospitality. 

Sometimes I think it’s a humbling experience to be at the needs of others, especially when you are away from home.  It’s often humbling when you realize that you and you alone may not be able to care for yourself, and you need the presence, help and care of others to meet your own physical needs. 

In our gospel lesson today, Jesus addresses not only hospitality, but also relationship, as he sends 70 followers out to proclaim and share the good news of Jesus Christ. 

He appoints 70 and sends them out in pairs. 

That’s a good start, right?  They are not sent out on their own, but in the company of another.  They are to carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 

They are sent without anything, which shows that they are dependent upon the hospitality of strangers for their well-being as they travel and evangelize. 

They are to greet no one on the road…seems strange to say that, but here again, it’s that reminder, that they are on a mission (from God).  They need that reminder, to focus, on the mission of getting this gospel message out there. 

They are to enter a house and first say, “Peace to this house.” They enter with a word and greeting of peace.  They are to remain in the house eating and drinking whatever they provide.  Who knows what will be offered, but again, it pushes Jesus followers to be open and ready for the hospitality of others.  That’s not always easy. 

And then this line, do not move about from house to house, but remain in the same house. 

And this is where we move from hospitality to relationship.  How do you get to know a person?  By spending time with her or him. 

How do you learn about a culture or a community?  By spending time there, eating the food that is set before you, listening to the stories of the people there and sharing your own life stories. 

It is through time spent with others, specifically listening to their stories and experiences, that we learn about others and are able to see where God is at work in the world already. 

How we know God and have experienced God in our lives is through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

That is the story we are called to share with others.  What we experience in this place: forgiveness, grace, love, supportive prayers, the body and blood of Christ at this table, God’s word breathing into our lives in word and song, that is what we are called to share with others. 

How do we respond to this calling from Jesus today? 

So, how are we, just like the 70 we read about today, sent out? 

Each and every week we are sent out of this place…to share the good news of God, to go to the places Jesus sends us, to build relationships with others, to listen to their stories and to share the places and experiences we have had with Jesus in our own lives. 

That’s how the gospel message is shared, folks. 


Yes, fed and strengthened in this place we are prepared to share the message out there, but it’s not until we leave this place that the gospel message is shared. 

We are living in a world that seems to become more divisive each day.   It rough out there…but out there…that’s where God is already in the midst of the struggles, disagreements, misunderstandings and in the joys, too.  Out there is where we are called to see Jesus at work and to be Christ’s hands and feet reaching out to those in our community, nation and world who are in need of a word of forgiveness, a hug of peace, a meal or a safe place to sleep.  It is far too easy for us to leave this place, feeling the love and grace of God and holding on to it until we come back next week. 

It us much more challenging for us to leave this place and enter into relationships with people who are different than we are (for whatever reason) and to enter into relationship with them and see how God’s love and presence grows when that happens. 

We’re not going to run out of God’s love and grace and forgiveness when we share it.  It will keep going and going and going. 

That’s the good news, my friends, this love of God, this grace of God, is NOT limited in any way, shape or form.  We are free to share this unending love and grace with everyone we meet. 

I pray that as we leave this place that we are able to see God at work in the world and be drawn into the places, conversations and relationships that Jesus calls us to be part of. 

May we be the hands and feet of Christ in our community and in our nation. 
May we show the love of God to all God’s children. 

May God show God’s love through our listening, our loving, our serving and our learning. 

And may the peace of Christ, which surpasses all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and let all God’s people say, amen.