Sunday, July 22, 2018

Proper Prayers for Proper 17B (29 July 2018)

Proper 17B

Sunday between 24 and 30 July


2 Samuel 11.1-15; Psalm 14; Ephesians 3.14-21; John 6.1-21


Collect of the Day


O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, increase and multiply upon us your mercy, so that with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 370]
or
Gracious God, you have placed within the hearts of all your children a longing for your word and a hunger for your truth.  Grant that we may know your Son to be the true bread of heaven and share this bread with all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen. [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 43]
or
In your compassionate love, O God, you nourish us with words of life and bread of blessing.  Grant that Jesus may calm our fears, and move our hearts to praise your goodness by sharing our bread with others.  Amen.  [Liturgy Task Force 2016, 88]
or
Sustainer of the hungry, like a mother you feed your children until each is satisfied. Turn our eyes to you alone, so that, aware of our own deepest longings, we reach out with Christ to feed others with the depth of your love.  Amen.  [Liturgy Task Force 2016, 89]

Prayer over the Gifts


God of grace, accept all we offer you this day, as we look toward the glory your have promised.  This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  [The Book of Alternative Services 1986, 369]
or
Holy God, gracious and merciful, you bring forth food from the earth and nourish your whole creation.  Turn our hearts toward those who hunger in any way, that all may know your care; and prepare us now to feast on the bread of life, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107]
or
God of all creation, all you have made is good, and your love endures forever.  You bring forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine.  Nourish us with these gifts, that we might be for the world signs of your gracious presence in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107]
or
Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things.  Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts:  our selves, our time, and our possessions.  Use us, and what we have gathered, in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107]
or 
God of mercy and grace, the eyes of all wait upon you, and you open your hand in blessing.  Fill us with good things at your table, that we may come to the help of all in need, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 64]
or
Merciful God, as grains of wheat scattered upon the hills were gathered together to become one bread, so let your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom, for yours is the glory through Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 64]

Prayer after Communion


God of grace, we have received the memorial of the death and resurrection of your Son. May your love, poured into us, bring us to your promises.  We ask this in the name of our Redeemer Jesus Christ.  Amen.  [The Book of Alternative Services 1986, 371]
or
We give you thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life.  In your mercy, strengthen us through this gift, in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114]
or
O God, we give you thanks that you have set before us this feast, the body and blood of your Son.  By your Spirit strengthen us to serve all in need and to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114]
or
God of abundance, with this bread of life and cup of salvation you have united us with Christ, making us one with all your people.  Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114]
or
Gracious God, in this meal you have drawn us to your heart, and nourished us at your table with food and drink, the body and blood of Christ.  Now send us forth to be your people in the world, and to proclaim your truth this day and evermore, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 65]
or
O God, our life, our strength, our food, we give you thanks for sustaining us with the body and blood of your Son.  By your Holy Spirit, enliven us to be his body in the world, that/so that more and more we will give you praise and serve your earth and its many peoples, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 65]

Saturday, July 21, 2018

"Us" Versus "Them" --- A Never-ending Story: Reflections on Ephesians 2.11-22 (RCL Proper 16B, 22 July 2018)

“Us” Versus “Them” --- A Never-ending Story
Reflections on Ephesians 2.11-22

RCL Proper 16B
22 July 2018

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Ephesians 2.11-22

            2.11So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision” — a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands — 12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.  15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.  17So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.  19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.  21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

Who’s calling who ‘foreigner’?
         When my father retired for the second and last time, he took up an interest in genealogy.  It’s easy for me to understand why our family history became so important to him.  He had, in effect, been an only child who was often left on his own as he was growing up. Most of his friends came from larger families and I think exploring our family history gave my father a sense of being part of just such a larger family.

         One branch of the family come to the New World in the early 1600’s from Anglesey in north Wales.  For whatever reason this Welsh connection resonated with my father and with me.  I began to learn bits and pieces of the Welsh language and, in the process, learned something that helped me years later when I was teaching in the Native Ministry Program at Vancouver School of Theology.

         I learned that the word ‘Welsh’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘walesc’ which means ‘foreigner’.  Now it seems a bit rich that the Anglo-Saxons, arriving a thousand or more years after my Welsh ancestors settled in Britain, called those who were already living in Britain ‘foreigners’.  The Welsh word for themselves is ‘Cymry’, something akin to saying ‘us’ or ‘my extended kin’ not ‘you’ or ‘your strange lot’.

         And thus, a never-ending human story about ‘us’ versus ‘them’ gained another chapter.

In Christ God bridges the gulf between Jew and Gentile.
         Before the writer of the Letter to the Ephesians goes more deeply into his reflections on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, he addresses head on the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ story of his day:  the relationship between Gentiles and Jews.

         In the Mediterranean world of the first century Gentiles viewed Jews as being eccentric.  Jews only worshipped one God and had no time for the many gods of non-Jewish people.  Jews followed a covenant that frowned on inter-marriage, promoted living within tight-knit Jewish communities in the major cities and avoided participation in most non-Jewish community events and practices.  Some Gentiles were attracted to Jewish belief and practices, but they were a very definite minority.

         On the other hand, Jews viewed Gentiles as people with lax moral characters who permitted ‘easy’ divorce, who were known to leave unwanted children to die in rubbish heaps and who had a nasty habit of conquering and occupying other peoples’ territories.  Their gods were as bad as those who worshipped them.

         But in Christ, our unknown writer proclaims, God has broken down the ‘dividing walls’, the ‘hostility’, that has Jew and Gentile apart.  For the disciples of Jesus there is the possibility of reconciliation and respect. From the Jews Gentile disciples learn a way of life in covenant with the living God.  From the Gentiles Jewish disciples learn that God has given Jesus as ‘the pioneer and perfecter’ of God’s eternal commitment to humanity, first made known in creation, reaffirmed in God’s promises to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses and now, embodied in Jesus.

         Rather than write another chapter in the never-ending human story of ‘us’ versus ‘them’, God is writing a whole new story, one in which there is only ‘us’.

In us God is reaching out to the ‘other’.[1]
         I believe that you and I live in a culture and society not so different from the culture and society of the writer to the Ephesians.  On the one hand, there are many non-religious and even anti-religious people who think that you and I --- or any religious person --- is not only odd but potentially a danger to society.  Our rituals and our beliefs seem ‘other-worldly’ or ‘archaic’.  True, some of these folks love to visit holy sites or ancient churches and other places of worship --- but actually to belong to such a community? ‘Not my thing.’

         On the other hand there are religious people, some Christian, some belonging to other faiths, who so distrust contemporary society that they close themselves in, sometimes physically, sometimes intellectually, sometimes both.  Some even perpetuate violence against ‘unbelievers’, whether through the political process or through actual acts of physical violence.

         But you and I, my friends, have been called by God into a community who has at its heart a vocation to those who have been far away and to those who are near.  As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians, ‘So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us . . . . ‘ [2]  We exist, as a community of faith, primarily for those who, in one or another, are alienated from God.  Our gatherings to hear the Word proclaimed, to offer our intercessions, thanksgivings and petitions, to break the bread and to drink the cup strengthen us, console us, empower us to be a people for others.  But it is not an easy task God has set before us.

         No way :  Some of our neighbours have had deeply negative experiences in their encounters with God and those who claim to be God’s friends.  There is ‘no way’ these neighbours will draw near to us. But that does not free us from the responsibility to draw near to them and face their hurt and anger.  By drawing near we may begin the process of healing.
  
         No longer :  Then there are our neighbours who, at one time or another, have been part of the Christian community.  For one reason or another, they have simply slipped away and are ‘no longer’ active.  But it just may be that a word from one of us, an invitation extended with no strings, might be the gentle tug that will re-unite them to this community of disciples.

         Not yet:  Among many people I meet are ones whom I might describe as ‘not yet’ disciples.  They have some connection with the Christian faith through their parents, their grandparents, their aunts and uncles, their friends.  They’re not against belonging; they’ve just never seen it as a ‘value-added’ part of being a person.  Just like our ‘no longer’ friends, the ‘not yet’ folk may only need an invitation to join us in God’s work of renewal and reconciliation.

         Never:  Then there is the ‘never’ group.  They walk by Holy Trinity but have never entered the door.  They buy crosses in jewellery stores but do not know the story behind it.  They are interested in participating in meaningful action to better our world but don’t immediately connect being part of a community of faith with that kind of activity. What they need is our openness to their questions and our interest in their hopes. 

We reach out by ‘turning inside out’.[3]
         So what are we to do?  We could encourage one another to be active in civic affairs and charitable groups but keep what we learn and experience in those activities separate from what we do here.  Here, we might say, our walls give us a safe place from what is going on outside.  But that’s not our way.  Every Sunday we offer our prayers for the world around us, we wonder what the Word proclaimed in the Scriptures is calling us to be and to do.

         We are called to turn inside out.  What God is asking each one of us, lay and ordained, to chip away at the walls that divide people:  the walls divide people of one faith from those of another faith, the walls that divide one community of Christians from another Christian tradition, the walls that divide those who ‘have’ from those who ‘have not’, the walls that divide people of religious faith from those who claim to have no religious faith.

         We break down these walls by proclaiming the ‘mystery’ of faith:  Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.  We break down these walls by daring to speak to others of our faith 
·      that creation is not an accident but an act of love, 
·      that every human being is made in the image of God which is love, 
·      that every human being is called to grow into the likeness of God which is to love and be loved and, 
·      that every human being is invited to work with God in secure the freedom and dignity of all God’s creatures.

         My friends, there are no ‘foreigners’ here. Our story is not one of ‘us’ versus ‘them’.  Our story is about offering to others the welcome and hospitality God has given us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  While some voices in our world will try to arouse our fear of the stranger, of the other, we will sing our song, a song about the love of the stranger, of the other, the song sung by the angels, the song sung by Jesus, the sung bequeathed to us.

In Christ there is no east or west,
in Christ no south or north,
but one great fellowship of love
throughout the whole wide earth.

In Christ shall true hearts everywhere
their high communion find,
whose service is the golden cord
close binding humankind. [4]



[1]These four groups come from the work of Lillian Daniel.

[2]2 Corinthians 5.20a.

[3]Thomas Schattauer, Inside Out: Worship in an Age of Mission(1999).

[4]Common Praise#484, vv. 1, 2.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Proper Prayers for Proper 16B (15 July 2018)

General Notes


· Those who are planning worship may take into consideration how the First Person of the Trinity is addressed in any prayer.
·     Some congregations may have concerns about the use of the noun ‘Lord’. When referring to the Second Person of the Trinity, some congregations may find it helpful to use ‘Jesus Christ’ or ‘Jesus the Christ’ or ‘Jesus our Saviour’ or ‘Jesus our Redeemer’ or some similar formulation that is faithful to the historicity of the Incarnation.
·     In contemporary English ‘so that’ is used to begin a clause that describes the hoped-for consequence of a specific petition rather than the simple ‘that’.

Proper 16B

Sunday between 17 and 23 July


2 Samuel 7.1-14a; Psalm 89.20-37; Ephesians 2.11-22; Mark 6.30-34, 53-56


Collect of the Day


Almighty God, your Son has opened for us a new and living way into your presence. Give us pure hearts and constant wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen. [The Book of Alternative Services1986, 369]
or
O God, powerful and compassionate, you shepherd your people, faithfully feeding and protecting us.  Heal each of us, and make us a whole people, that we may embody the justice and peace of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 42]
or
Holy God of Israel, draw us near to you, so that, in place of hostility, there may be peace; in place of loneliness, compassion; in place of aimlessness, direction; and in place of sickness, healing; through Christ Jesus, in whom you draw near to us.  Amen.  [Liturgy Task Force2016, 88]
or
Compassionate God, from far and near you gather your church into one, safeguard the unity of your flock through the teaching of Christ the Shepherd, so that all your scattered children may find in him the guidance and nourishment they seek. Amen.  [Liturgy Task Force2016, 88]

Prayer over the Gifts


O God, accept our praise and thanksgiving.  Help us in all we do to offer ourselves as a true and living sacrifice; through Jesus Christ the Lord.  Amen.  [The Book of Alternative Services1986, 369]
or
Holy God, gracious and merciful, you bring forth food from the earth and nourish your whole creation.  Turn our hearts toward those who hunger in any way, that all may know your care; and prepare us now to feast on the bread of life, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 107]
or
God of all creation, all you have made is good, and your love endures forever.  You bring forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine.  Nourish us with these gifts, that we might be for the world signs of your gracious presence in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 107]
or
Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things.  Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts:  our selves, our time, and our possessions.  Use us, and what we have gathered, in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 107]
or 
God of mercy and grace, the eyes of all wait upon you, and you open your hand in blessing.  Fill us with good things at your table, that we may come to the help of all in need, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 64]
or
Merciful God, as grains of wheat scattered upon the hills were gathered together to become one bread, so let your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom, for yours is the glory through Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 64]

Prayer after Communion


O God, as we are strengthened in these holy mysteries, may our lives be a continual offering, holy and acceptable in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [The Book of Alternative Services1986, 369]
or
We give you thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life.  In your mercy, strengthen us through this gift, in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 114]
or
O God, we give you thanks that you have set before us this feast, the body and blood of your Son.  By your Spirit strengthen us to serve all in need and to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 114]
or
God of abundance, with this bread of life and cup of salvation you have united us with Christ, making us one with all your people.  Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 114]
or
Gracious God, in this meal you have drawn us to your heart, and nourished us at your table with food and drink, the body and blood of Christ.  Now send us forth to be your people in the world, and to proclaim your truth this day and evermore, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship2006, 65]
or
O God, our life, our strength, our food, we give you thanks for sustaining us with the body and blood of your Son.  By your Holy Spirit, enliven us to be his body in the world, that/so that more and more we will give you praise and serve your earth and its many peoples, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 65]

Saturday, July 14, 2018

What on Earth Is God Doing? Reflections on Ephesians 1.3-14 (RCL Proper 15B, 15 July 2018)

This is the first of a series of reflections on those pericopes from the Letter to the Ephesians appointed in the Revised Common Lectionary for Year B.

What on Earth Is God Doing?
Reflections on Ephesians 1.3-14

RCL Proper 15B
15 July 2018

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Ephesians 1.3-14

            1.3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.  5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us.  With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.  11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.  13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

At the heart of Christian worship is meeting the Word of God amidst the words of the Scriptures.
            Some years ago, while I was still teaching at Vancouver School of Theology, I heard my colleague Harry Maier, who teaches New Testament and early Christian literature, quote Martin Luther in a sermon.  I’m afraid that I didn’t write down exactly what Harry said, but the substance of Luther’s comment was this:  Sometimes, in order to be faithful to the Word of God, you have to preach against the words of the Scriptures.  What Luther and Harry were saying is that the words of the Scriptures are the attempt of human beings, moved by the Holy Spirit, to speak about God, to speak for God, to speak to their contemporaries.  Because we are mortal and not God, because we live in time and space, our words, however eloquent and precise they may be, can conceal as much as they reveal about the Holy One of Israel, the One who created all that is, seen and unseen.

            But every time we gather as Christians to proclaim the Word and to break the bread and to drink the cup, we cannot escape our need to discern what God is saying to us in the words of what we call the ‘Holy Scriptures’.  To help us in this task of discernment, Anglicans do not give the choice of what is to be read to the preacher alone.  We use a lectionary, a cycle of readings for Sundays and holy days, so that we are led through the Christian year to hear a wide range of voices from the beginnings of the Hebrew people to the struggles of the early Christian community.

            Sometimes, however, the number of voices we hear on a Sunday can overwhelm us, especially at this time of the year.  Our readings from the Hebrew Scriptures trace the story of David, his successes and his spectacular failures, while the readings from the Gospels will soon lead us on an extended reflection on what it means to speak of Jesus as the ‘bread of life’.  On top of all this, this Sunday we begin to read a letter from an anonymous disciple of Paul which, although we call it the Letter to the Ephesians, might not have been written to them alone.  So, when the reader ends by saying, ‘Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church,’ we could be forgiven if we were to respond, ‘And what is the Spirit saying to the church?’

            Don’t get me wrong.  Hearing the many voices from the Scriptures is a good thing.  I remember an occasion when I was preaching at Christ Church Cathedral.  My sermon was on the gospel, but the hymns focused on the epistle and the prayers of the people on the reading from the Hebrew Scriptures.  No one went home hungry for the Word of God.  But there is something to be said for focus --- not a ‘theme’ --- a focus on one current within the river of words we hear.

            So for the next few weeks I will be focussing on the Letter to the Ephesians. Why?  Because I think that the writer of this Letter, in addressing the context of his contemporaries, has something to say to us here at Holy Trinity Cathedral as we live out our commitment as disciples of Jesus.

What on Earth is God doing?
            Sometime before the year 100 c.e. a Jewish-Christian disciple whose roots where in the communities founded by the apostle Paul wrote a document to be shared widely among these communities.  He was concerned that the growing number of non-Jewish Christians, the so-called ‘Gentiles’, were not completely aware that the mystery of God’s plan began in creation, continued in the witness of the covenant with the people of Israel and made known in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Like many converts to a new way of life, these Gentile disciples were living too much in the present, losing sight of the past and not looking towards the long and difficult road to the future.

            He tells his audience that they are part of an unfolding drama, the ‘mystery’ of God’s plan for the whole of creation.  From the creation itself to the present day, he writes, God has been revealing this plan, nothing less than the unity of all creation, the healing of the divisions caused by human sin.  And what are the signs of this mystery?

·     Creation itself is an act of love not a cosmic accident.
·     Human beings are made in the image of God and that image is love.
·     Human beings are called to grow into the likeness of God --- ‘We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly, we are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God’.[1]
·     All disciples are participants, co-workers with God, in working out this plan, whether Jew or Gentile.

What is the Spirit saying to the church?
            As we look at the society in which we live, the culture which shapes our daily lives, we know that there are many of our neighbours, our friends and our family who aren’t convinced that creation is an act of love.  And the only evidence we can offer is the self-giving love we choose to give.

            As our media daily report the tragedies of the world, the narrowness of vision expressed by many of the world’s political leaders and the active encouragement of division, prejudice and self-interest, it’s hard to believe that human beings are made in the image of God and that this image is love.  And the only evidence we can offer the witness of people of faith who resist the voices of fear and who choose hope.

            As we witness the harm done to ‘this fragile earth, our island home’ and the resistance within many of us to live more simply so that others may simply live, it’s difficult to find someone worth following, to find a way of life that can offer a different path.  And the only evidence we can offer is the way of discipleship, the way of Jesus.

            When demagogues laud ‘us’ versus ‘them’, when uninformed or intentionally malicious opinion is presented as ‘truth’, when influential voices prey on our innate fear of the ‘other’, walls that divide rise so high that we cannot see what or who is on the other side.  And the only evidence we can offer that God breaks down such walls is our own witness that there are no ‘others’, every human being is a child of God, every human being is precious not only in God’s eyes but ours.

            Among all the words from today’s readings this is what I believe is the Word and what the Spirit is saying to us, the followers of Jesus, the spiritual descendants of Abraham and Moses, the beloved of the Holy One of Israel.
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[1]Evangelical Lutheran Worship #720.