Judica: John 8:46-59

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

There’s a lot going on in our text for today, and so I think the easiest way to understand it is to start both at the beginning and the end. Before our reading for today, Jesus makes a pretty big claim. He says: “I am the light of the world, whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” And after His long discussion with the Jews, He says: “Before Abraham was, I am.” Those are huge claims! If you think about when He says, “I am the light of the world,” it’s just as if when He says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” or “I am the vine. You are the branches,” He’s basically saying, “I am God.” And so when He also says, “Before Abraham was, I am,” that’s also saying “I am God.” So you can understand why the Jews might be a little upset. Here is a man coming and claiming to be God. It’s also worth noting at this point that when Jesus says that little phrase “I am,” that’s a very clear claim to being God, because God’s name in the Old Testament that he reveals to Moses is “I am who I am.” So, for Jesus to say that is very clearly saying that he is one with the Father, which is why the Jews want to stone Him.

What makes this interesting is how the Jews react to this claim. The Jews hear Him make this claim to being God, and they say: “That can’t be true. Who does this guy think he is? Who can honestly claim to be God and actually be right?” So, they don’t believe Him. Now this, of course, is true for every human being by nature. It sounds a little simple to say, but if you don’t believe, you can’t believe. Unfortunately, because of the nature of sin, if you are not of God, you are of your father, the devil. There’s no middle ground here. You can’t be somewhere in between, neutral. That’s the way unbelief works, either when it hears the words of Jesus and says, “No, that can’t possibly be right,” or it hears the words of Scripture and says, “Well, I don’t really believe that,” or “You know, maybe we know a little bit better than they did. Maybe, they just didn’t know as much scientifically,” or something like that. Or saying something as simple as, “Yeah, I know what Jesus says, but I’m a Christian anyway, even if I don’t believe it.” But that’s not faith. That’s unbelief. And for those who are still in unbelief, who are still stuck in those sins, as Jesus says, they are of their father, the devil. Theirs is not heaven, but hell. And if that were it, if that were the end of the story, we’d all be stuck there.

But Jesus came down among us and went to the cross, to move us out of that unbelief into faith, to take us out of that kingdom of darkness where the devil rules and to put us into the Kingdom of Light, where He is king forever and ever. And now faith hears the words of Jesus, and faith says, “Yes, that is true. I know that You are the light of the world, Lord. I know that you were before Abraham. I know that You have come to save me.” When it hears the words of God, whether in Scripture, or in Baptism, or in the Lord’s Supper, it lays hold of those words and of those promises and keeps them tight and close and believes them, because that’s how faith works.

But there’s something else that Jesus tells us about faith, something rather interesting. He says, “If anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” Now how is that true? We’re all going to die. That’s the price of sin. So what does it mean “he will never see death?” For those who are in Christ Jesus, for those who have faith in the words of Christ, they will pass from this life into a new life. Death is but a door, and that’s what’s so magnificent about this. It’s not that we are stuck in the gloom of death and that’s it, as if that was all we had to hope for. No, we immediately pass from this life into eternal life, and so death has no power over us.

And what can the world do to someone who has that kind of hope, knowing that we are in Christ and so we are passing from life to life? It doesn’t matter what the world can do. We know where we’re going! We’re going to be with Christ, and no matter what happens, we can never be taken away from Jesus. And what’s even more than that, that’s not even the end yet! What’s so magnificent is that we will rise again as Jesus rose on the third day, bodily, not just in spirit. But with our own eyes, we will see God. In our own bodies, we will behold the Eternal Trinity. And so everything that death might do to us will finally be taken away.

And so, yes, for those who have faith in Christ Jesus, death has no power. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Thanks be to God that He has given us the victory through Jesus Christ, who is God.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Laetere: John 6:1-15

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

You can just picture them, this huge crowd wandering out in the wilderness without a place to stay, without enough to drink, not even enough to eat. And you can imagine this huge crowd, I mean, 5,000 men, probably just as many women, probably twice as many children, just an enormous group of people, all coming out to hear Jesus. And you can understand why Jesus, then, would go and have compassion upon this people, compassion upon this people wandering out in the wilderness, wandering like the Israelites did so many, many years ago.

And so what does He do? He has compassion on them, and He gives them what they need, but first He has a little test for His disciples to see how they would respond. He asked them: “Where are we going to get enough bread for all of these people?” And the disciples say: “I don’t know. I don’t know where we’re going to get enough bread. This is an enormous group of people. How are we going to find enough food for 20,000-odd people, just so that everybody can have a little bit and not break the bank doing it?” I mean, when he says 200 denarii, that’s a huge amount of money, that’s like years and years worth of wages, and it wouldn’t even be enough to get everybody a little. Obviously, the disciples are not doing so well in believing in what Jesus is about to do.

And so they take the five loaves and the two fish, and then Jesus blesses them, and He breaks them, and He gives them to the whole crowd, and there is enough for everyone. There is so much food that they have twelve baskets left over of just the crumbs, and the scraps, and the bones, and all that sort of thing. That’s an enormous miracle, but basically the same miracle that God performed for Israel all those years ago, wandering in the wilderness. And they said, “Where are we going to get food? Why can’t we just go back to Egypt?” But God gave them bread, God gave them manna, and God gave them meat because God provides. Even the mundane things, things we don’t even think about all that much, something as simple as the food we eat everyday, God will provide. God wants to take care of us even in those little things.

The problem, of course, is that the crowd only looks at the food. They only see the miracle that has been done, and they think: “Holy cow, this guy can make us free food! That’s great! I’m going to go after him.” But that’s not why Jesus does this. I mean, sure, He wants to take care of us. He wants to give us our daily bread, those things which we need and which we pray for every single day, but He also does it for another reason, the same reason why God did it so long ago for the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. He does it for the sake of faith, to strengthen the faith which seems so weak, which seems like it’s even non-existent. He gives the people what they need even in their simple, daily needs to show them that He is God. So that’s the reason why there are signs in the first place. Jesus doesn’t just do miracles, because miracles. Jesus does miracles to show that He is who He says that He is, because who was it that fed Israel in the wilderness? It is God. Who is it that gives us our daily bread? It is God. Who is it that will continue to take care of our every need and want? It is God.

When Jesus multiplies this bread in front of them and multiplies these fish in this miraculous way, He’s very clearly telling them what he tells you and I here, today: Jesus is God. Jesus is God come down among us. Jesus is God come down among our earthly pains, our earthly needs, our earthly hunger, our earthly thirst. He is the one who takes into Himself all of that pain, all of that hunger, all of the things that have gone wrong in this world. He takes care of you now, and He will take care of you then, both in body and in soul, to strengthen your faith and to give you those things which you need for daily living.

Is Jesus a king? Of course He is, but He’s not just a bread king. He’s not just the king that’s going to give us the things we need every day and that’s it. He is a king, because He is God Himself. He’s King, because He reigns over the living and the dead. And so, we can be thankful for Him, that when we pray, “give us this day our daily bread,” we know that He will provide even the simple things, but especially the spiritual things, the spiritual things which we need to strengthen our faith, whether here in the hearing of the Word or in the Sacraments, which you have just seen, Baptism and in the Lord’s Supper, and even something as simple as “I forgive you.” God is feeding you and strengthening your faith, just as He will provide for you today with all of the things you need for the body. Thanks be to God for everything that He has done and for everything that He will continue to do.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Oculi: Luke 11:14-28

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit on man

Jesus today talks about a very interesting metaphor. He says: “A strongman is secure in his palace with his goods, until a stronger man comes and binds him and takes all of his stuff away.” So what is Jesus talking about? Well, He’s actually using it as a metaphor for Himself and Satan. Satan is the strongman. Satan is the one who sits in his palace, secure and certain of what he has, and unfortunately what he has is every human person according to our sins. But a stronger man comes, that stronger man is Christ, and He binds the devil, and He takes away everything from him. He takes away those of us who were trapped in darkness, and He separates us into his kingdom of light. We have been taken out of the devil’s kingdom, out of the devil’s possession, because of what Christ has done for us. He went to the cross, and He took away our sins and so the devil no longer has a claim on us. The devil cannot claim to have any hold.

But what’s so interesting is this very idea of separation, of being taken out of the devil’s kingdom and out of the world, is what the Bible means when it talks about holiness. For God to be holy means to be apart. It means to be set off by itself, something unique, something off all on its own. That’s what holiness means. When you and I were taken out of the kingdom of the devil, by what Christ has done for us, we were placed over here and we were made holy, not because of something we did, but because of what Jesus has done for us. He has separated us from the world. He has made us holy. He has called us to Himself.

It’s really interesting because in the Old Testament reading for today, God makes a distinction between the Egyptians and between the Israelites, between the Hebrews. And its the same kind of distinction that he makes with us. The Egyptians belong to the world, just like all people according to their sins, but you and I and those Hebrews were separated by God, set into the Kingdom of Christ, and so he deals with them differently.

But that brings us to what Paul is saying in the Epistle reading, when he talks about being imitators of God “as beloved children, and walk in love as Christ loved us.” See, dear Christians, to be Christian is to be holy. Holiness is not something that we have to struggle for or to think that is dependent on our actions. Holiness is what God has made us as Christians. It’s His work, so we do walk in love, because Christ first loved us. He was the one who took us out, and put us over into His own Kingdom. He is the one who bound the strong man, the devil, and took us out of the kingdom of darkness. He has called us to holiness, because that’s what it means to be Christians.

And so when Paul talks about avoiding things like sexual immorality, impurity, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talk, he’s not trying to say like here’s a checklist you gotta figure out, so that you know you that you’re really being a good Christian or something like that. What is he is saying is, we avoid these things because that’s who we are, because that’s who we are as Christians, that’s who we are because that’s what Christ has made us to be. Not because we have to struggle with it enough, because we have to think that it is all onto us to make it happen, so that we’re really going to be holy, but because Christ has taken us out of that kingdom of darkness, has called us to holiness. He has remade us. We are reborn, and so this is a part of who we are. And that is what is so glorious about all of this, so that when we talk about being holy in God, we don’t have to worry about it, because God has made us holy. God will continue to make us holy.

And so let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not become partners with them. We have to remain separate, of course. The great desire of everybody, you and I included, is to run back to the darkness from which we came. We know what it’s like to be in the darkness. That’s why we sin, because we want to continuously do those things which seem so enticing to us: idolatry, sexual immorality, crude talking, all of it. We want to go back to it, because it’s what we know. But we have been called out, for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light, for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true. These things are good, right, and true, because they are God, and we have been made partakers of that through what God has done. And He continues to make us a part of that through His Word and through His Sacraments. We can be thankful for that, because in Christ is holiness. In Christ is the ability to remain holy, because Christ has made us like Himself through His death on the cross.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reminiscere: Matthew 15:21-28

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What’s Jesus doing today? He says a very strange thing to this Canaanite woman. He says: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and to throw it to the dogs.” So what is going on? Why does he call this woman a dog? Well, we have to hear the whole story to understand what is going on.

And so first of all, we have Jesus traveling, traveling near the region of the Canaanites, the Canaanites who were separated from the Jews by blood, by practice, by religion, by everything. The Canaanites are completely different people, and Jews didn’t think it was right to associate with Canaanites. They didn’t want anything to do with them. And so it’s very interesting that when this Canaanite woman comes and hears that Jesus is passing by, she says: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” She’s clearly heard of Him. She clearly knows who this Jesus is, and so she comes to Him looking for help, looking for Him to do something for her, but He doesn’t answer. And that’s what’s so strange about this, unless we realize that, frankly, none of us deserve an answer by nature. All of us are trapped in our sins. It would be perfectly just for the Lord just to put an end to all of this, and He wouldn’t be wrong in doing so, but He doesn’t. He doesn’t, because this woman recognizes why He doesn’t, and so she goes after Him. She won’t give up. She won’t let go of Jesus, and so she goes up to Him and says, “Have mercy on me,” but He still doesn’t answer. What is going on? The disciples say: “Send her away, because she’s bugging us. We don’t want to hear this anymore.” But Jesus says: “I’ve only been sent to the lost sheep of Israel.” But she still comes up to Him. She will not let Him go. And she says to Him, “Lord, help me.” That’s when He says this very strange thing: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and to throw it to the dogs.” Being a Gentile like us, she doesn’t really deserve a place at the table. None of us do, according to our sins. We all deserve to be somewhere else.

But listen to what this woman says, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” She will not be denied. In essence, she’s going up to the Lord, and she’s saying, “I know I’m a dog. I know I don’t deserve a place at the table with the children, but even the dogs have a place under the table, and so be merciful to me, because I know that You are merciful.” And Jesus says: “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you desire.” Because she didn’t want to let go. She didn’t want to let go, even when God seemed against her, even when it seemed like God wasn’t answering her prayers, even when it seemed like God was never going to answer, when He flat out told her that she had no place. Yet she says: “Even the dog, that little lapdog, has a place underneath the table. Maybe not at the table. I’m not trying to make myself into something more than what I am. I recognize that I am a dog, but I have a place eating the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.”

And see, dear Christians, that is what faith is. Faith is pursuing God, in a way, not in a way that I deserve anything that I get, but recognizing who God is, holding God’s own promises against Him, saying, “Yes, Lord, I know that I am a sinner. Yes, Lord, I recognize that I am a sinner by nature, that I have not loved my neighbor as myself. But even I, a sinner such as I, know that You are merciful. I know that You want to save sinners. You do not desire the death of the wicked, but rather that they would turn from their wicked ways and live.” Think of all of those prophets and all of those people throughout the Bible who pleaded with God, throwing back [His promises] to Him, like Moses, when God said He was going to destroy Israel: “You are merciful. You are steadfast. You are patient. Do not do this thing. I know you won’t do this thing, because You are a God of love.” So that’s why Jesus says to her: “O woman, great is your faith!” Because she would not let go.

And we, too, in faith, this faith given to us by God Himself, pursue God, approaching the Creator of the universe in a very bold and daring way. Think about it for a second. God creates everything. At God’s power and at God’s command, everything exists. If He didn’t want it to, it would stop existing in an instant. That Being of such great power is terrifying. To stand before the living God is a fearful thing, and yet what do we say as Christians? “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” We approach this terrifying Being of majesty and of power, this God who is fearful and frightening, like a child, and we say to Him: “We know that You want to take care of us. We know that You want to give us those things which we need. We know that You want to give us our daily bread.” And so we in faith, that God given faith, approach Him, approach Him like a little child asking his father: “Hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Like children to their father is what this woman was like, approaching Jesus knowing that He wants to save sinners, that He wants to help, because He is a God of love. And we ask all of these things, [knowing] that we continue to approach Him in that faith and to approach Him as children to the to their Heavenly Father.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Quinquagesima: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our text for today tell us something about what faith is. We see it in the story of Samuel and the sons of Jesse, and we see it in the story of the blind man who cries out to Jesus. What do they teach us about faith? They teach us that faith is external, is not something we do, that faith comes to the least among us, and that faith brings inexpressible gifts.

And so think first of all on the story of Samuel. The Lord says, “Go to the sons of Jesse, because I have picked out among his sons a king for myself.” He had just rejected Saul from being king over Israel. And so Samuel goes, and when he gets there, he sees Eliab, probably the eldest son of Jessie, and he thinks: “Holy smokes! This guy must be it.” I’m sure Eliab, who was a great warrior, was this strong looking man. He’s the kind of person you would think: “This guy is a king.” He looks like a king. He probably even acts like a king, lordly in his bearing. But the Lord says: “No, I have not chosen this one. I’ve chosen someone else, for the Lord does not look on the outward appearances like you do. The Lord looks on the heart.” And so he goes down through the sons of Jesse, not the second born, not the third born, and all the way down to what apparently is the [seventh] born. Jesse had many sons. And Samuel says: “Is there anyone else?” And Jesse says: “Well, yes. There’s David. He is keeping the sheep.” What this teaches us is that faith is not something that we do. Faith is not about being a good person or being the best looking. I mean, sure, we could have somebody who goes to church every Sunday, who prays everyday, who reads their Bible every day, and we’re always surprised when they fall into sin. But the Lord doesn’t look on the outward appearance. He looks on the heart. And so when he comes to David, and Samuel anoints David king instead of any of the other sons of Jesse, that shows that He chooses the least. He chooses what doesn’t seem to be all that powerful. You can imagine the contrast between the eldest son of Jesse, who was probably this great burly man, and little David, young, a shepherd, probably a little scrawny thing, doesn’t look like a king at all, and yet the Lord chooses him, just like the Lord chooses us. Because we don’t deserve to be chosen. There’s nothing about us that makes us strong and like a warrior before the Lord. Rather it is the Lord who chooses. It is the Lord who picks. It is the Lord who comes to us, just as He came to David and made him king. Which also shows, then, the final point, the great gifts that come through this. The least of Jesse’s sons becomes king over all of Israel. That’s a great gift. That’s a tremendous thing. This boy who doesn’t even look like a king is now in charge of everybody. But think about what the Lord has given you when He came and gave you His gifts. He’s given you life. He has giving you salvation. He has given you Himself. He’s given you the greatest of all of the gifts: His own Word and His own Sacraments.

That brings us to our New Testament reading ,with this blind man who serves as an excellent example of what faith is. Jesus is passing through the city, and there’s a blind man sitting by the road begging. He’s got nothing. This guy is down on his luck. He has to have other people help him do everything, because frankly he’s blind. Somebody probably has to lead him around. So out of all of the people in that crowd, this man is the least among them. He is the least among all of the sons of Israel. And yet when he hears that Jesus is coming, what does he say? He says, “Son of David, have mercy on me! Son of David, have mercy on me!” What faith this man has! Only just hearing of Jesus passing by and knowing that the Lord would give what He promised to give him, he cries out for mercy, and he gets it, because Jesus wants to give that mercy to him. Jesus wants to give that healing to him. Jesus wants to give this glorious faith, such great, rich gifts.

And so the same is true for you and for me, dear Christians. This wonderful, living, active thing we call faith is not something that we have to do on our own, as if we’re strong enough before the Lord to believe. Rather, we are like David and like this blind man, the least among all of our brothers. But that’s okay, because it is the Lord who acts. It is the Lord who comes to us. It is the Lord who wants to give His gifts, and what gifts those are! Gifts of life, gifts of salvation, His very own self in the body and the blood of Jesus Christ to forgive you your sins and to bring you to everlasting life. So we don’t have to try to be like Eliab. We don’t have to try to be some strong warrior, as if it was up to us. Rather, we can rejoice knowing that it is our Lord who is the strong warrior, and He lifts up the least among us, and lifts them up and gives them living faith.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sexagesima: Luke 8:4-15

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A sower goes out to sow his field, and he’s taking handfuls of grain from his sack and casting in front of him as he goes. But what the heck is this guy doing? He’s throwing it absolutely everywhere. He’s not only throwing it in the field he’s trying to plant, he’s also throwing it into the road. He’s throwing it among the rocks. He’s throwing it among the weeds. What’s he doing? That would be kind of like a farmer today driving his tractor around with a seed drill, but not only planting the field, but also the waterways, and the ditches, and the road, and just everywhere.

But this actually makes a lot of sense, because Jesus tells us that the seed is the word of God. And because it is the word of God, the sower is the one who is casting that word about, most often the pastor, and he is called to proclaim that Word to everyone in the world regardless of who they are. We don’t always know what kind of soil we’re going to encounter. In a sense, we’re blind. We can’t see, but God calls us to proclaim the Word to everyone so that everyone might hear it and be saved.

And so what about these kinds of soil in which the seed is being cast, where the Word of God is being proclaimed? Jesus tells us some of it is like a road, hard and compacted, where seed will never take root, because there’s just no way to break into it. Those would be the sorts of people who hear the Word, and Satan comes along and says: “Who are they to tell you what you can and can’t do? Weren’t you born this way? Don’t you want to do what you want to do? You don’t have to listen to them. Go ahead and do what you want.” And so the seed proves unfruitful. And some of that seed gets cast into rocky soil, not just rocks on the surface, but like great sandstone rocks just beneath the surface, so that the seed can certainly take root, but eventually it’s going to hit that rock, and it’s going to struggle to survive. Because maybe in their lives, they struggle with a particular sin, or they struggle with wanting the approval of their neighbors. Maybe they’re ashamed to be Christians in a world which seems to be hostile to it, and so when those times of testing, those times of trouble, come, they whither, and they fall away. And some of that soil is infested with weeds. Of course, you can’t always see the weeds. You don’t always know that the weeds are there, but as the crop grows up and is producing fruit, suddenly here comes the bindweed, binding all of the wheat in the field and choking it so that it struggles to survive. Because perhaps in this case, the world is too alluring. They don’t want to give up everything in this world, whether that is money, whether that’s a job, whether that’s a particular sin, whether that’s just being more concerned with all of our things and stuff in the world, that eventually we stop reading the Word. We stop going to church. We stop praying, and pretty soon they fall away. And the seed proves unfruitful. But some of that seed falls into good soil, soil which is rich, soil which is deep, soil which will produce a crop producing a hundredfold, beyond everyone’s expectations, as if a wheat field would produce a thousand bushels to the acre. It’s just something completely unheard of. And so the seed proves fruitful.

But something we have to be very careful of from this text today is not to take away the wrong lesson. This is not a call to be the right kind of soil, as if that were possible. It’s not even a call to have the right sower. The sower is just an instrument in the hands of God, and there’s nothing that the person casting the seed, or the people [being] who we are can do to make ourselves more receptive to the Word. But rather, it is the Word itself. It is the word of God which breaks up the compacted soil, which tears out the great rocks, which clears away all of the weeds. It is the Word alone which does this. The Bible tells us very clearly: “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.” Or as Paul says to Timothy: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” It is the Word which does this. God speaks through the Word, and because God is speaking through the Word, it is perfect. It is what does everything. It is what transforms the hard soils of our heart into the good soil which brings forth abundant fruit.

But consider also what Isaiah said today in the Old Testament reading: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there, but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” God is doing great things through the Holy Scriptures, through His holy Word. He breaks up that ground. He tears out the rocks. He casts away the weeds. He plants the good seed of the Word, and He will water it and make it bring forth abundant fruit, because it is God who is acting. It is God who will do this.

But as I said earlier, unfortunately you and I can’t tell what kind of soil other people are. We don’t know who is the good soil or the bad. That is the mystery of unbelief. Nor should we try to find out what kind of soil we are or someone else is. You’ll just go crazy. God alone knows. But it is enough to say this: God’s word does stuff. God’s word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. God is speaking to you today. He will do what He means to do through His holy Word, and He will save all those who believe in Him and trust in that Word, that Word which proclaims that Jesus Christ has died for your sins. And because God’s Word does stuff, we don’t need to worry. We don’t need to be afraid. The Word alone is sufficient. Trust in Christ, and He will keep you steadfast in the one true faith.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.