Friday, June 27, 2008

A, Pentecost 7 Proper 8 - Genesis 22:1-14 "A Father's Sacrifice"

The account of Abraham taking his son, Isaac, to be sacrificed is one of the most emotionally churning series of events in the Old Testament. God tests Abraham; his command is short and succinct. Abraham, now well and truly over the age of one hundred, faithfully takes his son, Isaac, to the place of sacrifice up Mt Moriah. And Isaac obediently goes with his father, without a word of complaint.

In Genesis 22:1-14 we hear: …God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

Three players stand out in this intriguing narrative, which is made all the more absorbing when we place ourselves in their places and observe how we might react to the same situation.

First let’s put ourselves in the place of Isaac. He is Abraham’s only son. In the narrative he says nothing as his father leaves taking him to the place of the sacrifice. Isaac knows what takes place at sacrifices and we know this by the one comment he makes during the course of events. He questions his father where the lamb is for the sacrifice since they already have the wood and the fire.

Isaac faithfully and quietly travels with his father up the mountain. One might see in the account that Isaac’s nature is like that of a lamb quietly being led to the slaughter. Then when he is bound and placed on the wood for the sacrifice there is no complaint or controversy.

This is truly a deeply sad picture when we place ourselves in Isaac’s predicament lying there bound tight, looking up at his dad, with all the trust and faithfulness of a child who loves his father, to see him raise his hands holding the knife just seconds before he would plunge it down into his body. What would their eyes have told each other; the innocence of Isaac peering up at his dad looking into his eyes for perhaps the last time?

And then afterwards, when Abraham was stopped from his action and unties his son, and grabs the ram from the thicket. How would Isaac have viewed his father having been so close to death?

Would you have laid there so quietly witnessing your dad, bind you and prepare to sacrifice you? What would you have said to your dad in the moments after the sacrifice of the ram and as you travelled home?

Now let’s look at it from Abraham’s point of view. You are a parent; you love your only child. This child is pure gift; given when there was no way you could have produced him by your own will or reasonable decision.

Yet you also love God, he is the one who has given you your child. It is by him alone that you hold your son, and have seen him growing to love and trust you. Now your son’s innocence and faithfulness towards you and your faithfulness and love towards him is ordered to be sacrificed. To surrender your son, Isaac, whose name means to laugh, is no laughing matter! It’s enough to wipe the smile off any parent’s face.

Abraham’s faithfulness to God almost seems stoic and steely cold. He seems to be completely unemotional at the surface. As a parent how would you react to God’s command to forsake your one and only child, given as a gift when the giving life seemed to be over?

How could it be that the lamb for the sacrifice is to be your one and only child? Imagine holding the knife and peering into the eyes of your faithful child, trusting every move you make, no matter how confusing the situation might be. It’s enough to rip your own heart to pieces just thinking about it!

Now put yourself in God’s place; commanding Abraham’s faithfulness in the sacrifice of his only son. As you test the father of many, seeing if he would judge the situation by what he humanly saw, or by trusting in you the God of all creation.

And being God who could control everything, now you have put the control into Abraham’s hands; waiting to see what he would do; giving him the freedom to trust your word and follow your directive or to select self interest in the preservation of his son. If you were God, wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier, avoiding a situation that would cause so much pain?

How would it be to be God looking down on Abraham and Isaac as the knife was lifted? To be the God responsible for the gut wrenching test, to be the God that gave an eleventh hour reprieve, calling Abraham to stop as he followed his command?

But even more, this situation is a preview to the sacrifice that fulfilled the very promise God made to Abraham, that he would be the father of many nations. In this sacrifice the Lamb knew he was to be slaughtered and bound to wood. The Horn of our Salvation was to be head bound with thorns. But this time the Father knew he would not relinquish at the eleventh hour and save his one and only Son from slaughter. Jesus himself said, “It was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:27-28)

And in this sacrifice we find our salvation. In this narrative we are the sheep with our heads bound in the thicket. We are the ones caught in the sin of our situation. It is us who should have been sacrificed to atone for our sin against God. But God’s Son bore the punishment and we were unbound there at Mt Moriah in the eleventh hour. Now we are set free to enter the eternal temple of the Lord.

The Father and the Son endured the situation, the pain, and the suffering in the sacrifice so we might live as the children of Abraham, as the children of faith, and faithfully follow our Heavenly Father. He faithfully sent his Son to be sacrificed on the mountain of Calvary, and because he did, we are numbered as one of those descendants God promised to Abraham all those years ago. Amen.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A, Pentecost 6, Proper 7 - Romans 6:1-11 "Baptismal Mastery"

Think of a person you know, an everyday type of person; a person to whom you look as a role model. This person is someone that you may have had dealings with, but then again maybe they’re not. They might be someone you have read about, or seen on television. They might be one of your parents, or grandparents. This person might be a friend or someone with whom you’d like to be friends.

Perhaps they are someone with confidence, or wealth, a healthy lifestyle, successful in whatever they do, or they seem to be at peace with themselves. Whoever this person might be, you see them as one who has it all together. They are lords of their lives, it seems. You see them as masters of their domain.

We don’t use the language of lords much these days, when speaking of everyday people. We no longer use the term to honour those whom we respect, and we don’t use it as a name for the rulers of our country, or for landholders, as they still do in other parts of the world.

Nor do we have a great cause to ponder the function of masters and slaves. We might hear the word master when talking about someone skilled at the top of their trade, or when master is used as a definition of a principal, such as a master bedroom or a master builder.

When we uphold these role models as masters of their domains, or as lords of their lives; we receive a terrible blow when these people begin to fade and struggle with life, or when their domain comes crashing down around their ears. When death comes to those we love and look up to, it usually hits hard. Or when the person we have upheld as such a good example, is not who they first appeared, the let down can leave us feeling deflated.

A harder shock for us all is when we find life harder and harder to master. Our bodies and our wills seem to enslave us. We find that we can’t do what we know we should be doing. Or perhaps we shudder when we find out someone else looks up to us. Disgusted, perhaps you think, “If only they knew what I’m really like!”

We humans are very good at making ourselves slaves, belittling ourselves, and burdening ourselves or others by our misconceived ideas as to who and what is worthy of lordship. When we make these types of judgement, the very elements of life we uphold as being necessary, become the very things killing us and driving us to despair.

The best example of this is at funerals. While hearing the deceased person eulogised, thoughts can arise that either crush you or confuse you. As you listen you might wish you were as good as the person who has passed on, but go away crushed and downhearted. Or you might wonder if you are at the right funeral, thinking to yourself, “Hang on, this person wasn’t as good as what they are being made out to be!”

And so we arrive at the reality of life. This reality is revealed for every person at their death. Unfortunately though, it’s too late for the revelation to do anything, once we die.

However, for Christians, we who believe in, hold onto, and remain in our baptism, the reality is daily revealed why we die but also who is really worthy of being eulogised in our death, and in our being raised to eternal life.

Therefore, we find that baptism and funerals are inseparably joined. And in the inseparability is the need for us to remain with Jesus Christ given at baptism, who is faithfully walking with us every day of our lives, and willing us to trust him for salvation even in our last breath of earthly life.

Death, and our need for baptismal living, reveals that no person can be lord of their lives, and that any mastery of one’s domain is temporary at best. In fact we hear from Saint Paul that in our original condition we can only master one thing — that is sin leading to death.

We hear in Romans 5:19-21… For just as through the disobedience of the one man (that is Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus Christ) the many will be made righteous. The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul then goes on to speak of our struggle against sin and the reality in which we live as believing baptised children of God.

He says… 1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:1-11)

No longer do we have to eulogise or uphold the things that end in death; rather we can give all glory to Jesus Christ whose life we have received in baptism. In other words we uphold and remain in the only thing that ends in life, our baptism into Jesus’ death. In baptism we no longer have a master standing over us, enslaving us. But we now have a Saviour who faithfully stands and has mastered sin and death in us.

In the gospel we hear, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. (Matthew 10:24-25a)

We have already seen that Jesus is not our master in the religious sense. We are not bound again as slaves doing works for righteousness. But Jesus is our role model, the only worthy role model. We look to Jesus’ baptism as our example as we hear John the Baptist declare, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11)

Jesus was baptised with water and the Holy Spirit came, we too are baptised with water and the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit came. Jesus endured a baptism of fire ending in death at the cross, and we too will face many fiery trials in this life ending in death. This is the cross we all must bear.

But, like our teacher, we will be raised to life, because this teacher now lives in us. His death has mastered our sin and our death. Sin and death have no power. They now are dying slaves of Christ; serving him in us so we might have life with him forever. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you are Lord of lords, and you are master of all dominions, powers, and authorities, and yet you live in us and daily win the battle of sin and death in us. Thank you precious Lord Jesus, not only do we abide in you, but you faithfully abide us. Amen.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A, Pentecost 5, Proper 6 - Genesis 18:10-15 "Laughter"

There are many different types of laughter. When we laugh we do so for all sorts of reasons. Sarah laughed when God drew nearby and foretold that she was to give birth to a son long after her body was capable of bearing children, and in her husband’s old age. When we laugh, why we laugh, and how we laugh, or even if we laugh, can tell us much about ourselves and our situation in life. There are many different types of laughter.

Laughter could be broken up into three different categories. The first group is the largest and, surprisingly, reveals negative connotations in laughing. The first of these is the laugh of a villain — the evil laugh. This is the laugh of the bad guy. He’s got the good guy just where he wants him, the power is all his, as he rubs his hands together and lets out that evil laugh just before he plunges his victim into chaos and mayhem.

Then there is the naughty laugh. This laugh has been secretively sniggered by children for years; especially in classrooms all around the world. This is the laugh one makes when something is funny, but it’s not the appropriate time to laugh, or it’s not fitting because it’s done at someone else’s expense.

The third laugh in this first group is the laugh one makes in sarcasm; when one is angry or frustrated. This is the “yeah right” laugh. Then there is the embarrassed laugh that one makes when we blush after being caught out. In this situation it’s either laugh or cry! Followed closely is the nervous laugh we make just before we launch into the unknown or the potentially dangerous. It is a laugh of hesitation. And the last laugh in this negative group is the contradictory laugh; this laugh is the laugh of the disbeliever. It’s like the nervous laugh but the difference is, this laugh is the “no way” type of laugh.

These types of laughter in the first group are all negative in nature. But even more so, they are all kinds of laughter that encourage the individual to draw into themselves, or to consider themselves as more superior than the next fellow.

The second category is the positive side of the three dimensions of laughter. Its character is impartial, in that it neither draws one into themselves or out of themselves. This is the laughter that comes from happiness or contentment. It’s the laughter that can come from an individual in isolation, but it can also be influenced from outside as we hear or see something that makes us laugh. Like the negative group of laughter, this happy laughter ends with me; it needs to go no further to be effective.

The third category of laughter is also positive. But unlike happiness or contentment laughter, this laughter needs a community to exist. This laughter is the laughter of a joyful heart; this laughter is the laughter of rejoicing. When we laugh because of joy, we are compelled to share this rejoicing with others, because we have been drawn out of ourselves by someone else. The laughter that comes as a result of joy, needs an outside beginning influence, and it doesn’t end with us! This laughter causes us to share and serve; this laughter gives glory to someone other than ourselves!

Sarah laughed! In fact it’s reported in Genesis that she laughed twice. In Genesis eighteen she laughed as she stood in side the entrance to her tent as she heard God tell Abraham that they were to have a son within the year. Listen for the nature of Sarah’s laughter as she hears what God says…

The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” (Genesis 18:10-15)

After God followed through with his promise, Sarah and Abraham had a son, and they named him Isaac, which means, to laugh. Ponder the nature of her laughter now that she bore the child of God’s promise to her and Abraham…

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Genesis 21:6-7)

First we heard the laughter of an elderly woman who was perhaps bitter and angry, embarrassed and nervous, secretive and disbelieving. Even though this woman was old, wisdom was still to come as she laughed out of ignorant disbelief as to what God could do.

And then the turn around, even in her disbelief and doubting, in her secretiveness and her hopeless embarrassment, and in her bitterness and dishonesty, God effects change in Sarah and the nature of her laughter is changed forever.

Sarah’s laughter which was once negative and self-centred became joyful and shared. God had brought laughter and it caused her to share it with all who gathered around her. Such is the nature of joy when a person is caused to rejoice in the power of God.

The laughter that comes as a result of a joyful heart is often experienced as a result of our powerlessness. Just like Sarah we were powerless, and in many ways we still are powerless in ourselves. We were sinners! And we still are! It’s only due to the power God afforded to us at the cross in the powerlessness and death of Jesus Christ that we are daily raised to new life by the power of God.

Jesus Christ is truly our model here, as we reflect on his joy recorded in Hebrews 12: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:2-3)

Joy! Joy! What joy can one find in being flogged to a cross? Only the joy that is grounded in someone greater, to serve and be shared in a community!

This is the joy that comes from the God who gives us peace, the God who grants us access into grace through his Son, the God who justifies us through his gift of faith from the Holy Spirit, the God whose joy it is to hear our rejoicing in hope, as we endure in him even in the midst of suffering.

Sarah laughed in joy with all those around her who heard what God had done. But like any mother who raises children, the laughter is not always present. In fact, at times, there is great sadness and suffering. But the joy that gave her cause to laugh remained, and that same joy remains with us, even in our suffering and sorrows. We bear the joy that was set before Christ, and now is sent out by him who holds all the power of joy and hope.

It might seem that we have no cause for laughter, and our laughter might take on a negative or self-serving tone at times, but in our moments of powerlessness realised, we do well to remember and trust these words… when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5: 6,8)

What greater joy can we experience than Christ’s own love towards us? Just like Sarah we might say, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. To which Jesus Christ, the author of all eternal joy and hope, also says, freely you have received, freely give. Let the joy of your salvation, flow on to the communities, into which Christ has called you. Amen.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A, Pentecost 4 Proper 5 - Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26 "Our Doctor is our Bandage"

Key Verse

Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Matt 9:12)


When I say doctor what image fills your mind? GPs, dentists, physios, chiropractors, specialists, surgeons, naturopaths, other doctors perhaps? Don’t we put our trust, in fact our faith, in these people to make us whole; to restore peace in our lives, bring ease to our dis-ease? Yes! We go to the doctor to receive his or her diagnosis and a remedy so that we might live a better life!

Don’t we put complete faith in their knowledge, accepting the fact that they know every medical aspect of our bodies? We don’t often question them, their methods, or their instruments, nor do we really want to know the ins and outs of being a doctor. But rather we let them do their thing! Occasionally we may question their diagnosis, but for the most part, we place our faith in them.

Picture this. A doctor with a difference. This doctor, walking down a road, comes along and seeks out a child, who seems to be healthy. He diagnoses the child, as having a terminal disease. This doctor is truly amazing, the child is not taken to him but rather he comes. But this is not all! As if this is not enough, he willingly swaps the ease of his body with the unsuspected disease of the child’s.

And later on he comes into the presence of a girl with a sore throat and a bad cough. No matter what the girl tries to do, she can’t get rid of this cold. Before she can do anything, he absorbs the sum total of her virus into himself. The girl goes off down the road free, she bounds along with a spring in her step, no headache, no razorblades in the throat, and no hacking cough.

This doctor continues down the road, passionate about the direction in which he is heading, for over the next ridge is a man who has fallen off his bike and mangled his leg. He writhes around in a massive amount of pain. The doctor comes along, weighed down by eternal disease, weeping eyes and a runny nose, but he stops and says to the bike rider it’s ok, get up and ride off. In an instant pain is gone, his bike is fine, he jumps up, mounts his bike and rides off. The doctor continues off in the other direction, not as fast as before, head hung low, pain on the face, broken only by the constant jolt a rasping cough, and now limping on a half mangled leg.

He comes across a woman, she is lying on the road lifeless! He is glad he was sent along the road that day; his heart is filled with compassion as he comes to her. The doctor falls to his knees beside her and sees that she has been shot. He places his hand over the wound, as if it were a bandage, the woman opens her eyes she hops up and walks off. The doctor opens his hand and sees the bullet that was meant for her flesh, he places his hand on his side and the bullet pierces him as if it were a spear. Some how he manages to stand, he is determined to continue, he struggles along the road until it comes to an end, at the base of a big ugly tree. The doctor can’t walk any further, he turns and faces his back to the tree and falls against it and there he dies.

In Isaiah 53:4-5 the word of God says, Surely he has borne our unhealthiness and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

This doctor is Jesus Christ. This messianic doctor is our remedy. Our Lord Jesus Christ – the one who bandages – is the bandage applied to our wound, soaking up the disease from our bodies, and giving us life. The one who prescribes is the prescription, this healing cream is Christ, our Lord – the lotion, and our Saviour – the antiseptic solution.

In the Gospel reading for today, we heard of three occasions where people’s life journeys were changed forever after being met by Jesus. First, Matthew a tax collector, seen by the Pharisees as a thief, an outcast of Jewish society by his association with gentiles—unable to go into the temple, into the presence of God.

Then second, a woman who suffered from a twelve-year menstrual period, also unclean, unable to go into the temple, because the Law clearly states in Leviticus 15 that, ‘ … All the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness; as in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean. Men don’t get off either, in fact any emission of bodily fluid from a man or a woman made them unclean in the eyes of the Law. And third, a little girl lies dead in her bed; contact with this little corpse is a sure guarantee of becoming unclean.

But Jesus enters into their world of uncleanness; this doctor soothes and heals their spiritual illnesses causing both their physical and spiritual aliments to be cured. The ultimate transference between patient and doctor happens in this meeting between unclean and clean. The healing cream is Christ, our Lord is the lotion.

So how does Jesus heal the people in these three different scenes? How does he apply himself to their infirmities and impurities? How does he apply himself to our sicknesses and sin?

It seems that the faith of both the bleeding woman and the father of the dead girl are the key factors in the healings; as if faith were something that was born out of their own decisions to get well. If we go down that road, we turn gospel faith into law. Faith becomes a work of the individual in order that they believe. It’s as though we’re telling our gracious doctor how to fix us when we sit before him in his surgery!

But no! Faith is the property of Christ, faith is never ours but it does live within us. The haemorrhaging woman and the dead girl’s father had faith, but it was not born in them, and although Matthew’s gospel doesn’t record how they came to have faith, verse nine sheds some light on the source of faith, ‘As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And Matthew got up and followed him.

‘Follow me’, Jesus’ word is all it takes for Matthew to receive faith, stand up, and leave the comfort of his life of illness, uncleanness, and separation from God. It’s the Word that accomplishes; the Word that empowers; the Word that was with God at the beginning doctoring chaos into a healthy creation; and the Word that today stands at God’s right hand, and in the lives of God’s people. St Paul says in Romans 10:17, ‘Consequently faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. God’s healing Word is the substance of the faith in which we act. We reach out and touch the fringe of his garment because of the faith he gives us in his word. God’s Word proclaimed, Jesus Christ proclaimed, is the bandage of the one who bandages.

Hear we are today, still suffering with our bodily sicknesses and diseases. We still suffer from the brokenness of relations with others, families in disagreements, neighbours in conflict, creation itself threatens to destroy us. Our whole being—mind, body, and spirit—still suffers from the effects of living in a fallen world. It might appear that this Christ cream hasn’t cured us. Sicknesses make our bodies groan, our bones clatter, and day by day death still gets closer. Sin is forever fighting in us!

However, hasn’t faith brought you here? Haven’t you entered the hallowed walls of the heavenly surgery? Isn’t the doctor, dressed in brilliant white, attending to our wounds, dressing our sores with his brilliant white bandages of forgiveness? Are we not receiving the proclaimed Word right at this moment? Are we not receiving the Word through the waters of our baptism, the body bread and the blood wine of Holy Communion? Are we not receiving it through songs, prayers, and fellowship? Our healing cream is Christ, our Lord is the lotion, and the one who bandages us is our bandage!

Remember that doctor walking down the road, absorbing the sickness and brokenness of those he came across. That tree he collapsed and died on has been lifted up in victory over your illnesses, diseases, your sin.

Healing has begun, restoration, and repair is ongoing. Sin is being remedied. We have been given the promise of full health; one day soon the doctor will heal us and take us into his Father’s eternal garden as eternally healed holy people. Amen

Now may the healing grace of Jesus Christ, the lotion love of God the Father, and the faith giving fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all, Amen.