Category Archives: Epistles

And That Is What We Are

(An Online Message for September 13, 2020, based on 1 John 3:1-7)

It has newly occurred to me this summer that each day as I set out to face both the world and the challenges that await me there, I leave carrying a great deal of “stuff” along with me.

 Mostly, it’s the things you’d expect: my wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses, maybe some pocket change; and of course, these days you don’t go anywhere without a mask!  Just the everyday essentials for what you’ve got to do every day, right?  But along with all the rest of it, I also carry with me something of much greater importance; and in fact, in your own way, so are each one of you: because each one of us, wherever we go and in whatever we do, brings with us who we are.  Actually, in truth of fact, we carry with us several identities by which we are recognized and distinguished by others; and these are the ways that quite often serve to determine how we relate with those around us.

For instance, I’m Lisa’s husband, I’m my kids’ Dad; I’m also (and shall ever be!) my mother’s son (true story: one day last month while my mother was still in the hospital, I had to go to her bank; and not only did I not know anybody working there, nor had I introduced myself – and I was wearing a mask – the woman behind the counter immediately greeted me by asking how my mother was doing after her fall (!) …she told me afterward she knew who I was because of my eyes!).  And besides that, I’m a son-in-law, a father-in-law and a brother-in-law as well as an uncle to several nieces and nephews. I am a proud resident of the Granite State, but most assuredly a native “Main-uh;” moreover, I’m an American citizen, a tax payer and a voter, thank you very much.  

And to a great many people, I’m also identified, perhaps primarily, as a church pastor.  Now I realize not everybody knows me that way but I have to tell you that over the years I’ve been continually amazed by the number of those outside of the churches I serve who do see me that way, and who approach me just on the basis of that: people (even strangers!) who just want to talk about faith, particularly, as of late, as it applies to these strange and tumultuous times in which we live.   And I’ve never minded that, because I’ve always felt that part of my identity as “a minister” is to pastor to the larger community.

On the other hand, however, I have to be careful not to assume too much: once a few years back, on a day when I happened to be all dressed up in a shirt and tie, I was at a mall department store; and this elderly woman came up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder, and when I’d turned around she said, “You!  Do you know where the light bulbs are?”  Now, for some strange reason, I went right into “pastor mode.”  I simply smiled at this lady and answered, “Well, probably down near the light fixtures, but I don’t really know for sure. Why don’t we find somebody to ask?”  To which this lovely lady replied in a huff, “You don’t know!?  Don’t you work here?”

 So I suppose there are times when that pastoral identity doesn’t come into play, but then again, there have been many other strange and powerful moments over the years when for some unknown reason I have encountered individuals who, right in that place where we were, at that precise moment of the day or night needed me to be… a pastor. These are the moments when this identity I carry as pastor, as a Christian, as a Child of God comes to the forefront, and it suddenly becomes clear to me that this is where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing at this particular moment.  This is who I am.

 And I don’t share this with you this morning to let you know what a great person I am, but rather as a reminder to each of you that you carry this same identity.  No, your job description may not list “pastor” as its title; and even as a person of faith, you might not always consider yourself to be particularly “religious” as it relates to what you do for a living.

On the other hand, though, perhaps for you there was that moment when a friend or a neighbor chose your shoulder on which to cry, and even as you were offering up some comfort, silently you were wondering why you, and not someone else!  Or maybe it was when you found yourself in the middle of a conflict and were surprised to realize that yours had become the voice of reason and reconciliation; or in these strange days of pandemic, that you somehow became the example of hope and strength for the people around you! Or maybe at a time when it was far easier to turn away, you were the one to stand up and speak out for that which is only right and just, or you were the one who rushed in to risk love and care to those in need.  Let me tell you, friends; if any of this applies to you – and I suspect it might – the truth is that you might be more of a “minister” than you think!

For you see, one of the hallmarks of our Christian faith is that as Christians, each of us serves as a reflection of the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  You may well carry a number of identities in your life – man, woman, spouse, parent, child, friend, worker, teacher, coach, retiree, student – but in and through all of these you carry a name that is given by God and which connects you to God!  Just as a child is a reflection of his or her parents, you too are a reflection of your heavenly parent, a true child of God. That’s the “lesson” of scripture today: “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” That is what we are!  That is who I am, and that is who you are! 

So often our mistake is that we assume we work our way up to become children of God.  But our reading from 1 John this morning makes it very clear that we’re already there! We are God’s children now, a status and relationship that is the gift and consequence of God’s love, demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

And this is good news indeed!  As William Willimon has put it, the best thing about all this is that this is God’s work, not ours.  “I do not always feel like a child of God,” he says.  “I do not always look like a child of God.  God knows I do not always act like a child of God!  But I am.  I am one of God’s children not because of what I did or because of who I am but because God chose me, out of all the universe, to be his child.”

 And so, in love, we have been chosen, you and I.  We’ve been given a new identity, and that transforms… everything! But we need to understand that along with this new identity comes new responsibility.  What’s the first thing we read in 1st John after this glorious affirmation of our being called Children of God?  It’s that “no one who abides in him sins: no one who sins has either seen him or known him.”  Or, as The Message goes on to translate it, “Don’t let anyone divert you from the truth. It’s the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah.” In other words, a change of identity means a change of stance!  Suddenly, it’s no longer appropriate to do that which goes against our relationship with God.  From here on out, it’s going to matter what it is we reflect toward others; we’re going to need to show forth love and righteousness rather than sin and disobedience; for friends, whatever shines out from us is now a reflection of God!

To be child of God, you see, carries with it the weight of responsible living, of words that speak the true nature of one’s Christian faith, and actions that speak louder than those words; not that we always succeed at that. 

Do you know that there are stores where you can actually rent an engagement ring? Seriously!   I don’t know where this place is, but a few years ago I read an interview with the manager of a store in Boston that was created for just this purpose, and he explained that there are a lot of men who are thinking about proposing to their significant others, but aren’t quite sure if they want to follow through!  And so, not to have make a full commitment of time or money, these men rent the ring for 30 days in order to make their half-hearted proposal!  (Ah, romance!)

Well, folks, there are a great many people today who are living out their faith in exactly the same manner: half-heartedly, with no real commitment nor with any depth to what they believe at all.  But you and I, who are called children of God – for “that is what we are” – and we are called to something more.  We are called to be a reflection of God in all the ways that we speak and live and love; most especially in these days of pandemic when our “visibility,” so to speak, has been forced into the background.

I wonder what kind of commitment, what kind of love and compassion, what kind of faith people see when they look at us.   I mean, it’s one thing to have a sign out front that says “We are the church no matter where or how we meet,” but how is that actually perceived out in the world?  How are we seen, beloved?  Do people see in us merely a half-hearted effort to be good, or at least good enough people; or do they see a shining example of righteousness; people who are not led astray by whatever seems easier or more expedient or personally beneficial for the short term, but who do the right thing in keeping with the Lord’s principles, standing up, speaking out and living what we believe even if that means taking a personal risk for doing so?

It comes down to our statement of faith, made real and “identifiable” in our identity as children of God…

and that is what we are, beloved: in the work we do, in the ways we relate to one another, in the ways we seek to be faithful in all our dealings, in what we intend for the world.  This day and every day, may that faith come shining through in every large and small happen, in every good word and every warm embrace.  In all things, may our identity be rooted in the love of Jesus Christ!

Thanks be to God!

Amen and AMEN.

© 2020  Rev. Michael W. Lowry.  All Rights Reserved.


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Heart Knowledge

(An Online Message for August 16, 2020, based on 1 Corinthians 8:1-13)

As Rod Serling used to say, “Submitted for your approval: the story of three people, each one who is holding a small block of pine wood in his or her hand!”  Okay, then (!), here’s how the story goes: the first person lets go of the block and it falls to the ground.  However, when the second person lets go of her block, it moves upward.  And then the third person does the same; except in this case, the block remains in exactly the same place!Now, I’m guessing that our first response to such a scenario would be, well, that’s impossible… certainly, the first wooden block falling to the ground, that’s what you’d expect it to do; but the second moving upward?  That would go against the laws of gravity, and as we all know, gravity works (!); and as for the idea that the the third block would just float there… well, that’s just bizarre, and proof, to quote Rod Serling once again, that “you’ve just crossed over into… the Twilight Zone!”

Seriously, though, it’s an impossible scenario, right? Or at least it is until we realize that while the first person letting go of the block might have been standing right here — and so the block would drop just the way we’d expect — it turns out that the second person is standing underwater; so when she lets go of her block, quite naturally the wood floats upward, which is perfectly normal and logical given the situation!  And, in case you haven’t yet figured out this riddle, the third person is a crewmember who just happens to be aboard an orbiting spacecraft in zero gravity, which would explain how his pine block stays where it was let go.

As the saying goes, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, especially when it’s what we think we know! For what we think we know is not always that which is true; and even what we do know to be true varies widely given the particular circumstance, or depending on the experience in which we received that knowledge.  What’s also true is that sometimes our knowledge ends up merely revealing just how much we have to learn.

 For some strange reason, when I think about this I always remember this man who was a contestant on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”  This was years ago, back when the show was just starting and the late, great Regis Philbin was the host (the absolute best game show host of all time, in my opinion): and there was this one contestant who came on and ended up getting hung up on the $200 question, which, if you remember the show, was always one of the easiest questions of the night; and which, in this instance, was about what color you get when you combine yellow and blue.  The thing was, however, that this man honestly did not know the answer, and even after using his “lifelines,” still got the question wrong and was gone from the “hot seat” as quickly as he’d arrived.

What I remember about this, however, was how everybody reacted to this: the studio audience laughed at him and even Regis, who was always cool and unflappable in any circumstance, looked shocked at what had happened.  And over the next couple of days, just about every radio DJ, talk-show host and stand up comic in the country was making fun of this guy, calling him an idiot and a moron;  instead of becoming a millionaire, overnight he’d become this national joke. Eventually, however, the man was interviewed about what had happened, and come to find out, he was color blind; he’d been that way all his life, and having no concept of color combinations at all, he’d really had no real way to answer the question!  Needless to say, that revelation changed everyone’s perception of things!

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing indeed… but most especially so when that knowledge proceeds out of the absence of love.

That’s what this morning’s scripture reading is all about; in which the Apostle Paul addresses a matter that had become a hot-bed of controversy among Christians in the Greek city of Corinth: the question of whether or not it was alright to eat meat that had previously been sacrificed to idols.  Now, to give a little background here, Corinth was not only a busy seaport city it was also well known for its diversity where religion was concerned; basically, just about any “god” or idol you could name was being worshiped by some group or another, with a great number of shrines and temples having been built to honor these so-called deities.  There were also a lot of animal sacrifices, and these sacrifices would often end up being sold to vendors on the street who in turn would make it available to the public.  Bottom line is that the vast majority of all meat that was sold and served in the city of Corinthians had more than likely first been sacrificed to idols.

And for these new Christians in Corinth, therein was something of a moral dilemma: to wit, if they were to eat this meat that had been previously sacrificed to pagan gods and idols, were they in essence worshiping those pagan gods and idols in the process, turning their back on Christ in doing so?  Or, on the other hand, did it even matter since all those idols and gods never existed in the first place? 

The question had sparked great debate, and as was typical of the Corinthians, it had created a great deal of division among them.  One faction claimed to be “strong” Christians, whose strength was rooted in their belief that now since that they had been saved through Jesus Christ, they were blessed with the “knowledge of the truth” that there is only one God; that all the other idols out there in the city amounted to just so much stone and wood; and so, any food offered up to these lifeless statues was just that, and eating it could not possibly harm or endanger their salvation. In fact, so great was their knowledge in these matters that they also made it clear that anyone who disagreed with this understanding were just “weak” Christians who were simply being silly and superstitious about it all.

To be fair, the reasoning of these so-called “strong” Christians did kind of make sense; it was logical, their way of thinking; even theologically sound.  After all, when you know what you know, that’s kind of the end of the discussion, isn’t it?  Which makes it all the more interesting that when they ask Paul what he thinks about this issue, the first thing that Paul writes to them is that yes, “we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge,’”  but, he goes on to say, don’t be so self-assured about it.  Because, he says, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” (Or “edifies,” as it’s translated elsewhere.)

In other words, there’s more to this matter of eating sacrificial meat than mere logic and theological posturing. What about how our knowledge and conviction, and likewise, the choices we make because of that knowledge affect others? And what about those so-called “weak” Christians, who might just be struggling in their faith and for whom the act of indulging in pagan rituals keeps them from truly living as Christians?  What about our oneness and unity with them in the Body of Christ? 

Head knowledge, you see, is one thing; and those “strong” Christians had that in abundance.  But for all their huffing and puffing about what they knew was true and right and permissible, they’d neglected something of equal if not greater importance to a believer; and that’s heart knowledge.

Paul says to them that ultimately food doesn’t bring us closer to God; we’re no better off where God is concerned whether we eat sacrificial meat or we don’t. In Christ, we are free to do what we want, but Paul says, “take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”  Or, as The Message translates it, “isn’t there great danger if someone still struggling on this issue, someone who looks up to you as knowledgeable and mature, sees you go into that banquet,” thus“getting mixed up himself in what his conscience tells him is wrong.”  In other words, by faith we are free, but we must not use our freedom, either knowingly or unknowingly, to undermine others in their faith. And if food is going to be the source of their falling, Paul concludes, then I won’t eat meat “so that I may not cause one of them to fall.” 

In the end, you see, it’s not about our being right or wrong in our opinions or our posturing; ultimately — and this is true of whatever it is we believe to be real about our Christain faith — it always has to be about the care and the LOVE in which it is expressed, acted upon and shared. Anything less than that ends up meaningless if not downright detrimental. 

But here’s the thing; when love does factor in, faith becomes all the deeper, and more relevant, for it.

Some of you have heard me tell the story of how for many years in high school confirmation classes, I did this thing with the kids that I used to call, “Sin… or No Sin.”  It was (speaking of old game shows!) a take-off on “Deal or No Deal,” and basically what I would do is write on the blackboard all these different kinds of actions or behaviors, and then asked them to decide as a group whether those behaviors represented “sin, or no sin.”  And friends, we covered the gamut of human experience, everything from little white lies, swearing, and cheating on a math test, to some of the more adult concerns of drinking, doing drugs or engaging in casual sex. It served as a good way of getting into a discussion of Christian morality and ethics; but what was always interesting is how those kids would work out some of their answers.

For instance:  buying a lottery ticket; sin or no sin?  Well, that’s no sin: there’s nothing wrong with buying a lottery ticket; it’s not hurting anybody and my parents buy them all the time, and they say if they win the megabucks they’re going to give lots of money to the church!  Okay, then (and say thanks to your mom and dad for me!); but what if someone is spending so much money on lottery tickets that they’re not able to pay all their bills or put food on their family’s  table?  Well, that’s a little different; but everybody can afford to buy at least couple of tickets once in awhile?  But what if they can’t?  What if they are addicted to gambling; what if this is just one thing they do that has caused problems for their families?  I guess then we’d have to get that person some help, and then do whatever we can to make sure that family has enough food… 

Friends, that’s how every one of those discussions seemed to go; understanding on the one hand how we are free to do pretty much anything we want, sinful or not; but how on the other hand, not all things are good, nor do they build up.  The challenge, you see, for all of us who seek to live faithfully and to follow Christ in our walk of life is to always choose that which brings ourselves, and others along with us, closer to God. 

Am I saying to you this morning that the depth of your faith is contingent on whether or not you buy a Powerball ticket this week?  No; that’s truly up to you.  But what I am suggesting is that each one of us need to look at what we know in the strength of our faith to be good and acceptable about our lives and living, and then ask ourselves how that knowledge touches the hearts of others.  What does our behavior tell our children about who Jesus is, and what it means to be a Christian?  Do we, by what we do, create a stumbling block for others struggling to live their lives as followers of Christ; or does it create a new way of building up hearts and lives for the sake of God’s kingdom?

Our answer to that question, yours and mine, comes down to love. 

It’s always to be found in the love; the love that creates an entirely new kind of ethic for our lives, the love that resets our priorities and builds up relationships with others as builds up a relationship with God in Jesus Christ.  It’s knowledge, true knowledge of the heart; knowledge that will not only nurture our relationship with the Lord, but that which will also bind the church together in it’s shared ministry of healing and reconciliation.  And without it; well, as Paul would later write to the Corinthians,“If I understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

I hope and pray, beloved, that in wherever our faith takes us in these strange and uncertain days, we do have the love to move mountains.  Truly, may our knowledge and wisdom will be that of the heart as we walk together though this journey of faith that is life; and may we be girded by love that comes from the “one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist… and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”

Thanks be to God. 


© 2020  Rev. Michael W. Lowry.  All Rights Reserved.

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Posted by on August 18, 2020 in Epistles, Love, Sermon


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To Lead Lives Worthy

(a sermon for June 14, 2020, the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, based on Ephesians 4:1-16 and John 6:24-29)

Since confession is good for the soul, it seems like now would be as good a time as any to tell you that one of the things that Lisa and I have been doing to pass the time in these days of quarantine is “binge-watching” old episodes of the television show Survivor.

Now, we’ve actually been watching that show off and on for the 20 years (!) it’s been on the air, but recently we’ve been re-watching the first few seasons from back in the early 2000’s and it has been… (please don’t judge!) not only entertaining but fascinating!  To begin with, those early seasons were more wholly focused on two “tribes” of people literally working to survive alone together on a south sea island: you got to see them struggle to make fire, battle the elements, build a shelter, eat bugs and beetle larvae (which my wife still can’t bring herself to watch!) and at the end of each episode vote off the weakest link until there’s one “sole” survivor, all the while wasting away to nothing and getting filthier by the day!  Back then there were no “hidden immunity idols,” nor an “Edge of Extinction” island as a way of staying in the game longer as is routine now, and the so called “reward challenge” often yielded little more than a bag of Doritos and a Mountain Dew!

In many ways Survivor is a very different show than what it was when it started; but what’s interesting is that from the beginning the basic premise has always been the same:  that you gather this group of people of vastly different backgrounds competing to “outwit, outplay and outlast” each other all for the sake of winning a million dollars; while at the same time, perhaps, maintaining their own personal integrity in the process.  And if you’ve ever watched Survivor, then you know what I’m talking about here:  every season, almost every episode there’s always some contestant who’s lamenting as to how they can actually lie to, lie about or otherwise manipulate a fellow contestant – some of whom they’ve actually grown rather close to out there in the wilderness – all for the sake of moving themselves further along in the game and closer to that million bucks.  Trust me here, folks, there ends up being a whole lot of generally “good” people who end up doing some really terrible things on Survivor!  And what gets me is that their reaction to this kind of behavior usually goes one of two ways: either they say, “well, it’s just a game, after all, not real life,” or else they confess that “At the end of all this I need to be able to look myself in the mirror,” and thus act accordingly.  And isn’t it interesting that – not always, mind you, but generally speaking – these aren’t the people who end up the sole survivor!  If the question asked on a show like this – and on countless other shows these days – is “what would you do for a million dollars,” the answer would seem to be, “almost anything!”

The real question, of course, is, “why?” Why do this; even for a million bucks, why would you ever diminish yourself, your character, your reputation and your integrity do this? Now, I understand that there’s a fair amount of fakery on these so-called “reality” shows, so I don’t want to overthink this, but I suppose that at heart the reason comes down to human nature; our inner yearning, to quote the Rev. Thomas G. Long, professor of preaching at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, to “hit the jackpot… to [garner those] windfalls that give us more of what most people are after – fame, power, fortune” and even security.  It’s basically the same reason people buy lottery tickets or enter the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Giveaway; we want all of the benefits of that which we believe a million dollars will provide… even if ultimately, it won’t; or even if it’s not the true blessing we’re looking for!

Now, lest we think that this is a latter-day phenomenon of human life, consider the crowds from our gospel text this morning from John, who the day before had been well fed with a miraculous abundance of loaves and fishes and who were now actively seeking Jesus out, even following him eagerly all the way from Tiberias all the to Capernaum in boats, ostensibly to be nearer to Jesus and to hear more of his teaching.  But when they finally do find Jesus, he sees right through them, saying, “You are looking for me not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.”  Or, if I might draw from The Message here, you’re “looking for me not because you see God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs – and for free.” In other words, they figured they’d gotten one good meal, so why not another!  And in the process of looking for that next meal, to quote Thomas Long again, they’d confused “the difference between the hunger for a blessing and the lust for a jackpot.” 

And, friends, therein lies our confusion as well.  What Jesus makes clear in this passage is that he’s not about to be a short-order cook for the crowds at Capernaum, any more than our following Jesus is evef meant to be a means of wish fulfillment.  No, it goes much, much deeper than that.  “Do not work for the food that perishes,” Jesus says, “but [work] for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”  

Yes, these people had had their bellies filled in an amazing, miraculous way… but what Jesus was giving them was more than just perishable food that temporarily relieves a passing hunger; Jesus is offering up the nourishment of God, he food that feeds the soul and satisfies our deepest hunger.  And the beauty part is that it’s not even something that we have to earn, or win or “survive.”  It’s just given us as a gift… gracefully, lovingly, purposefully. “This is the work of God,” says Jesus, “that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

For each one of us as believers, you see, the most important question before us comes down not to what we’d do for a million dollars, but rather what we are willing to do for that which really matters.  How willing are we to work for the blessing rather than go for the jackpot?  Would we be willing to let go our grip of dependence upon all those things of this world and this life that will most certainly perish?  Are we willing to let go of all that so that we might grab ahold of the life that is true and abundant and eternal?  Are we willing to believe in something greater than ourselves, and then give over the whole of our hearts and lives to it?  Are we willing to renounce the need for windfall, or entitlement, or privilege for the sake of loving our neighbor – all our neighbors – as ourselves and as Christ as loved us?  Are we willing to lead lives worthy of the food we’ve been given, “the food that endures for eternal life?”

I’ve always been very fond of our second text for this morning, that portion from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in which he writes, “I… beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”   And also, by the way, once again drawing from The Message version of these verses, “Mark that you do this… not in fits and starts, but pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert in noticing differences and quick at mending fences.”  I love this passage because it serves as a reminder not only that our calling as disciples is a marathon rather than a sprint – a lifetime commitment to working for the bread that endures – but because of that bread, the work provides its own reward.  So though we might wonder what would happen if we made it to that final “tribal council,” for fame, fortune and security, ultimately really doesn’t matter if we never win the million dollars; just as in the larger landscape of our lives ad living, it makes no difference if the other castaways stick with their alliance and vote us off the island.  What matters is how we “played the game,” so to speak, because we know in faith that there’s a greater place and better meal awaiting.  Strangely enough, friends, the great Frederick Buechner expresses this perfectly.  He writes, “No matter how much the world shatters us to pieces, we carry inside us a vision of wholeness that we sense is our true home and that beckons to us.”

What matters is that our true home is ever and always going to be with God, beloved.  What matters is that the sum total of our lives will never to whatever fifteen minutes of fame we might have achieved along the way, but rather in how we were able to live lives worthy of all of God’s graceful gifts that have been bestowed upon us.  What matters in times of conflict and uncertainty is both that we stood up for justice and that we conducted ourselves after the manner of God’s whole peace – God’s shalom – and made that our intent and priority for the world.  What matters is that we love as Christ has loved us, and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. What matters are the ways we “[speak] the truth in love, [growing] up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body [is] joined and knit together.”

I pray that this will be the vision that beckons to each and every one of us, beloved, “until all of us is come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”

So might it be… and thanks be to God.

Amen and AMEN!

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Posted by on June 14, 2020 in Discipleship, Epistles, Faith, Jesus, Paul, Sermon


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