Sunday, July 26, 2015

We Have What We Need

St. Paul’s Church in Bergen, Jersey City NJ
July 26, 2015

Year B, Proper 12: The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
2 Samuel 11:1-5
Psalm 14
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21

We Have What We Need
            Well, I told you so.
            If you were here last week, you may remember that I told you that this Sunday we would hear one of the juiciest stories in the entire Bible – the story of David and Bathsheba.
            David, of course, was the King of Israel.
            He had everything he needed – and much more than that.
            He lived in a cedar palace. He had the respect and loyalty of his people. He had multiple wives.
            And, yet, when he spots the beautiful – and married – Bathsheba bathing on the roof, he decides to take her, too. And, she gets pregnant.
            Bad enough.
            But then he tries to cover up his sin and makes matters worse.
            First, David recalled Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, who was one of David’s best soldiers and who was off on a military campaign. David tries to convince Uriah to go be with Bathsheba so that Uriah will think that the child is his. He even tries to get him drunk.
            But, through it all, dutiful Uriah refuses to leave his post, refuses to leave the king’s presence.
            And, so, finally, as we heard today, David arranges for Uriah to fight in the front lines of battle, where he will die, allowing David to cover up his sin (he thinks) and also to have Bathsheba for himself.
            David had everything he needed – and much more – and yet was not satisfied. Maybe you know the type.
            In today’s gospel passage, we meet people who don’t seem to have enough – who don’t seem to have everything they need – a big crowd of hungry people following Jesus – a big crowd of hungry people and Jesus and the apostles don’t seem to have enough to feed them.
            We’re told that “When Jesus looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’”
            But, we’re also told that Jesus’ question is a rhetorical question since Jesus knows what he’s going to do. Jesus knows where the bread is.
            Jesus knows that he has everything we need – that we have everything that we need.
            It may not look like it. It may not feel like it.
            But, we have everything that we need.
            Jesus’ own disciples – as was and is often the case – don’t get it – don’t believe, don’t realize, that we have everything that we need.
            Philip has no idea how all these people are going to be fed. After all, it’s a very big crowd. He notes, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for them to get a little.”
            And Andrew pipes up, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?”
            In response, Jesus has everyone sit down on the grass. He blessed the bread, broke it and distributed it to the crowd. He did the same with the fish.
            And, there was more than enough. Way more than enough.
            This is a very important moment in Jesus’ life and ministry. In fact, what’s called the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes is the only miracle that’s recorded in all four gospels.
            It turns out that the people gathered on the grass that day with Jesus had everything they needed – they had Jesus, the Bread of Life.
            They had – and we have – everything we need.
            It may not look like it. It may not feel like it.
            But, we have everything that we need.
            Yet, there are so many hungry people all around the world – so many hungry people right here in our own community.
            Many of us have been hungry – maybe literally hungry for food or hungry for a better life – a life with enough food and decent shelter and meaningful work and hope for a better life for our children and grandchildren.
            It’s that kind of hunger that brought – and continues to bring – immigrants to our country – the hunger that has brought some of you from the Caribbean and elsewhere right here to Jersey City.
            There are hungry people all around us.
            All the time, people call the church or stop by telling me they don’t have enough money for food or for rent or for transportation, asking for help.
            Please help me, they say.
            Some of our own parishioners have asked for help with rent or to pay an unexpected expense.
            Each month people line up along Storms Avenue waiting in line for Garden State Episcopal’s emergency food pantry at the Church of the Incarnation. Last month when I was there with some of our youth about 150 people came through, hungry for the food that had been donated by us and by others.
            There are hungry people all around us.
            There are so many people who are lonely – who eat alone every day and every night – who crave community – who long to be part of something larger than themselves – to be part of something with meaning and hope.
            There are hungry people all around us.
            There are hungry people all around us and Jesus asks us a rhetorical question: “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?”
            Rather than shrugging our shoulders like Philip and Andrew, sometimes we answer by reaching into our own pockets and bags and sharing our own bread or fish with others.
            Sometimes we answer by bringing items for the food pantry or donating to Garden State Episcopal – to feed those hungry people lined up on Storms Avenue.
            Sometimes we answer by reaching out the lonely and frightened person – by calling – by sending a note – by sitting with the person who is alone at coffee hour - by taking the risk of inviting strangers to be part of our community, to be part of our lives.
            Sometimes we answer by simply offering our shoulder to cry on.
            But, let’s be honest. All too often, we’re like Philip and Andrew. We say, it’s impossible – we don’t have enough – there’s really nothing we can do.
            And in reply, Jesus tells us – shows us – that we have everything we need.
            People are hungry all around us – and we – you and I – we know where the bread is.
            It’s right here. We have Jesus. We have the Bread of Life. We have everything that we need.
            So, it’s time to reach into our own pockets and bags and share our bread and fish.
            It’s time to reach into our hearts and share our love – God’s love – with one another.
            It may not look like it. It may not feel like it.
            But, together, we have everything that we need.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

God Builds a Really Big House

St. Paul’s Church in Bergen, Jersey City NJ
July 19, 2015

Year B, Proper 11: The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Psalm 89:20-37
Ephesians 2:11-22
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

God Builds a Really Big House
            A couple of weeks ago, Sue and I spent about a day and a half down the Shore with some good friends.
            I haven’t really been down there much since Hurricane Sandy and it felt good to be back.
            In the afternoon we took a walk along Ocean Avenue – which, as you might guess, and unlike our Ocean Avenue – runs right along the ocean.
            We looked at the beautiful houses along that strip of prime real estate – many of them new or mostly rebuilt since the hurricane.
            We were struck by how impressive they were – and just how big they are. Big houses!
            That shouldn’t come as a surprise since the size of the average American house has been growing for years – not so much around here where the lots are small and expensive but in other parts of the country where people have more money or land is a lot cheaper than it is here.
            In 1983 the average home size in the US was 1,725 square feet.
            In 2013, the average home size was 2,598 feet – an increase of 873 square feet in 30 years.
            For better or for worse – and there are a lot of negative environmental effects – Americans are building big houses.
            And, in a way, it turns out that is God is building a big house, too.
            If you’ve been in church during the last few weeks you may have noticed that our Old Testament lessons from Second Samuel have told the story of one of the most important people in the history of Israel: David.
            Saul was the first king of Israel but, because he fell out of divine favor, God sent the Prophet Samuel to a man named Jesse to anoint one of his sons to be Israel’s next king.
            As usual, God selected a most unlikely person for this most important task.
            Samuel goes to Jesse. Jesse brings out his sons one after the other beginning with the oldest.
            Each time the Lord says, no, not that one.
            Finally, when Jesse seems to have run out of sons, Samuel asks if there really are no more and Jesse replies, yes, there is – but because he was sure that God wouldn’t choose the youngest son, he was left out in the field tending the sheep.
            But, Samuel anoints David to be king.
            Then a couple of weeks ago we heard one of the best-known Bible stories, David and Goliath.
            Goliath, the Philistine giant, challenges Israel to a fight.
            David, still just a boy, volunteers to take him on.
            Goliath scoffs that the best Israel can do is send a little kid but of course David and the Israelites get the last laugh as God’s anointed, David, slays the giant.
            God chooses David for this most important task even though – or maybe because – he is a seriously flawed character – not a great father and definitely not much of a husband. David is ruthless - willing to shed blood to get what he wants.
            Next Sunday we’ll the story of how he sends Uriah the Hittite out to the front lines so he can be killed in battle and David can get what he wants, Uriah’s wife, the beautiful Bathsheba.
            But, today, we hear that David is king and living the way kings do, in a palace – a palace made of cedar, which was a particularly precious wood.
            And, to his credit, David has a realization – he realizes that his accommodations are a whole lot better than God’s.
            Since the days of the Exodus, centuries earlier, the Ark of the Covenant, a wooden box which was believed, in a sense, to contain the very presence of God, had been carried around under a tent and was now in David’s capital, Jerusalem.
            David thinks, “I live in a palace and God lives in a tent. There’s something wrong with this picture.”
            So, David decides to build a house for God.
            The Prophet Nathan agrees with the plan but, surprisingly, God doesn’t.
            God says, “Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.”
            In all that time, God asks, “Did I ever speak a word with the tribal leaders of Israel saying…’Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’”
            Then God turns things around and announces something bigger. God declares that God will build David a bigger house – not a house of wood – but a royal house – a dynasty - that will reign forever.
            God builds a big house.
            But, it turns out that God has even bigger house in mind.
            In today’s second lesson, the author of the Letter to the Ephesians makes the point that, in and through Jesus, God has brought the gentiles into “the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.”
            In and through Jesus, God builds a house big enough for everybody.
            Our job is to invite people into this big house built by God.
            In fact, because we are so remarkably diverse and, for the most part, get along so well, I really believe that here at St. Paul’s we have a special vocation – a special call from God – to demonstrate that God’s house truly is big enough for us all.
            And, we’ve been doing a better and better job of inviting people into this big house built by God.
            We’ve been welcoming more and more people to our church – all kinds of people.
            They’ve been coming, maybe like sheep without a shepherd, to be fed in body and spirit.
            They’ve been coming because they’re hungry and they wonder if God’s house really is big enough for them, too.
            And, hopefully, they come here and they find out it really is big enough for us all.
            And we’ve been doing a better job of getting out into the community – even just a few feet out into the community with our beautiful garden that signals we’re alive with love and beauty.
            We’ve been doing a better job of getting out into the community through our outdoor services, through sharing food at the food pantry, through marching in the Caribbean parade again this year, through so many of us getting involved with the exciting community organizing effort that’s underway in Jersey City.
            Each time we go out there we remind people that God has built – is building – a really big house.
            It’s a house big enough for us – it’s a house big enough for everybody.
            God is building a really big house for us all.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Deep-Rooted Love

The Wedding of Kristin Elizabeth Korsgaard and Michael Chang
July 18, 2015

Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
John 15:9-12

Deep-Rooted Love
            What a day! What a beautiful day!
            What a joy to celebrate the marriage of Kristin and Michael!
            What a gift to witness the love they share with each other – the love that has brought us all together today.
            You won’t be surprised to know that I go to a lot of weddings.
            I’m always glad when couples get in touch with me to let me know that they want to get married and ask me to be the officiant.
            It’s always so moving to see the hope and excitement of these couples as they step bravely into the future, courageous enough to make a lifelong commitment to each other.
            I always insist on a few sessions of pre-marital counseling with me in an effort to look at whatever issues a couple might have – to give them the chance to deal with these things before they get married.
            No surprise, some couples have some real issues – problems with communication, very different visions of the future, financial disagreements, families that don’t get along...
            We try to work through them as best we can but, I’ll admit, sometimes I find myself at weddings with some real doubts – with some red flags flying – but, of course, praying and hoping for the best.
            And then, there’s these two.
            Kristin and Mike.
            I had the usual premarital counseling sessions with them and, while I won’t say that these meetings were boring or a waste of time – how could spending time with Kristin and Mike be boring or a waste? – the truth is that after just a few minutes I saw what you all see and what you all know: how at ease they are with each other – how they are on the same page about everything that really matters.
            Although I still made them meet with me a few times – just in case - after only a few minutes it was clear to me that they are ready – they’ve been ready - they are ready to make a lifelong commitment of love to one another.
            You all agree, right?
            No, today my only real concern is that I have to stand between these two who are both taller than I am!
            It’s obvious that Kristin and Mike share a rich and deep love.
            It’s a love that is God’s greatest gift.
            It’s a love that began as friendship – an easy friendship among a large group of Madison friends – many of whom who are here today.
            It’s a love that was nurtured and shaped by the love that Mike and Kristin received and witnessed in their own strong and nurturing families – the love and devotion of parents and grandparents.
            And, it’s a love that truly began to take root during a time of great suffering and grief – in the days and weeks and months after the terribly sad death of Beth, whose loving and joyful presence I know so many of us feel here today.
            As St. Paul writes, “Love never ends.”
            And, so the love that began in a time of grief has now taken deep, deep root and become the obvious and beautiful and never-ending love - God’s greatest gift -that we celebrate here today.
            Now, we’ve already agreed that these two are as solid as they come but we also know that in every life and in every marriage there are challenges, fears, disappointments, and grief.
            Even the most deep-rooted love can be bent and cracked by the storms of life.
            So, you and I – we’re here to celebrate and to bless and to have a good time but we’re also here to make an important promise of our own – a promise to support of Kristin and Mike in their married life, no matter what.
            So, yes, I go to a lot of weddings.
            But, it’s rare to celebrate with a couple whose love truly is so deep-rooted – Kristin and Mike, a couple whose love is so obvious – Kristin and Mike, a couple whose love is such a clear and powerful and beautiful sign of God’s love for us all.
            What a day!
            What a beautiful day!

Sunday, July 12, 2015


St. Paul’s Church in Bergen, Jersey City NJ
Church of the Incarnation, Jersey City NJ
July 12, 2015

Year B, Proper 10: The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19
Psalm 24
Ephesians 1:3-14
Mark 6:14-29

            Many of you have heard me say how much I love weekday worship – how important it is for my own spiritual health.
            One of the things that makes me happiest about my time at St. Paul’s so far is the fact that we’ve been able to maintain a regular schedule of weekday services for about two years now.
            Week in and week out, thanks to a small band of dedicated lay people, we offer our three regularly scheduled services – sometimes well-attended, sometimes not, it doesn’t matter.
            And we also celebrate the Eucharist on all of the major feasts of the church year.
            I love the major feasts when we can focus on – reflect on – the lives and the faith of the apostles and also specific incidents in the life of Jesus – people and moments that we’re not able to give so much attention to here on Sunday.
            For example, every May 31 we celebrate one of my most favorite feast days – the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
            Every May 31 we get a little taste of Christmas when we remember the story told by Luke of the Virgin Mary – who has just said yes to the awesome news presented to her by the Angel Gabriel – Mary has just said yes to God – has just said yes to carrying God into the world in a new and unique way.
            On the Feast of the Visitation we remember the story of the miraculously pregnant Mary hurrying to a Judean town in the hill country to visit her cousin Elizabeth who, it turns out, is having her own miraculous pregnancy – pregnant in her old age.
            Luke tells us that Mary is miraculously pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth is miraculously pregnant with John the Baptist.
            Remember the story?
            Mary enters the house, calling out a greeting, and the unborn John the Baptist leaps in Elizabeth’s womb.
            Elizabeth cries out words familiar to every Catholic, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
            And Mary replies with her own song – her song of joy and revolution – the Maginificat:
            “My souls magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”
            “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich empty away.”
            The Visitation.
            A little bit of Christmas at the end of May.
            It’s a joyful scene – two women miraculously pregnant, sharing the joy and wonder of new life.
            But, of course there are shadows hovering over this joyous scene, as well.
            Mary and Elizabeth don’t know it – though they may have had their suspicions since throughout Jewish history prophets often found themselves in difficulty, often lived hard lives.
            Mary and Elizabeth don’t know it but we know that John and Jesus are linked not only through kinship. They are linked not only by their common message of repentance. John and Jesus are also linked through the violent deaths that await them both.
            The shadow of death hovers over this scene of joy.
            In today’s gospel lesson the shadows grow very dark indeed when hear the ultimate fate of Elizabeth’s son, John the Baptist.
            The court of Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, puppet of the Roman Empire, was a shadowy place, full of intrigue and plotting and boasting and death.
            The court of Herod Antipas was a shadowy place – where promises were made that shouldn’t have been made – promises that definitely shouldn’t have been kept. Herod swore to the dancing girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it. Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”
            Instead of half of his kingdom the girl follows her mother’s orders and asks gruesomely for the head of the prophet John the Baptist on a platter.
            Herod isn’t amoral, though. He knows the shadow of shame – he knows what he’s about to do is wrong - but the shadow of insecurity – the desire to save face at all cost wins the day and John was beheaded.
            John the Baptist – that wild prophet who called the people to repentance and called out the religious establishment – that courageous prophet who challenged Herod about his unlawful marriage – that cousin of Jesus – he knew about shadows too – he knew the shadow of the executioner raising the blade above his head – the shadow of death hovering quite literally above him.
            Of course, as we heard today, the shadow of guilt continued to hover over Herod – and when he heard about what Jesus is doing he knows the shadow of dread – he declares - wrongly - “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”
            We know all about shadows, don’t we?
            Even in our most joyful moments when, like Mary and Elizabeth long ago, we celebrate miraculous new life – when we celebrate a pregnancy or a birth – when we celebrate a new relationship – when we celebrate falling in love or making a new friend – when we celebrate reconnecting with someone we thought we had lost – when we celebrate a new job or a new opportunity – even in our most joyful moments there are always shadows hovering around us, aren’t there?
            The shadows of illness and death – the shadows of separation or divorce – the shadows of misunderstandings and words that can’t ever be taken back – the shadows of downsizing, layoffs, unemployment, unpaid bills – these shadows are hovering all around us.
            And out there in the world the shadows of racism and unspeakable violence darken the lives of so many both here in our city and our country and all around the world – from Jersey City to Charleston to Yemen.
            When the first Christians reflected on the story of the brutal death of John the Baptist they saw foreshadowing - foreshadowing of the brutal death faced by Jesus.
            Once again, a weak political ruler – in this case, Pontius Pilate – knew he was doing the wrong thing – knew that he was going to take the life of an innocent man – but the shadows of insecurity – the shadows of power and saving face no matter the cost – won the day.
            Or… seemed to have won the day.
            Hanging on the cross, Jesus knew all about shadows – the shadows of betrayal, abandonment, pain, fear and death.
            Good Friday was the most shadowy of day of all.
            But, because of Easter, the first Christians also knew that God’s light is brighter than any shadow – that life defeats death – that perfect love casts out any and all shadows.
            So, yes, like I said, the major feasts are great – and I love celebrating them. I wish everybody could celebrate them with us.
            But, you know, each Sunday we celebrate the greatest of all feasts – each Sunday we come together here to celebrate a little Easter – a little Easter in July - each Sunday we come here with all of our shadows of fear and death – we come here to celebrate Easter – to allow God’s light to brighten our shadows – we come here to get a little taste of the new life that awaits us – we come here and experience foreshadowing of miraculous new life – new life where there are no shadows at all.
            So…let’s have a little Easter in July:
            Alleluia! Christ is risen!
            The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord

St. Paul’s Church in Bergen, Jersey City NJ
July 5, 2015

Year B, Proper 9: The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
Psalm 48
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Mark 6:1-13

Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord           
            What’s your favorite part of the service?
            That’s a question I often ask when I teach youth confirmation class to get the kids thinking about what we do here on Sunday.
            What’s your favorite part of the service?
            Here at St. Paul’s a lot (but not all!) of us love exchanging the peace. Obviously. We love the music especially since Gail has been with us. We love receiving Communion. And many of us love coffee hour when we can enjoy a nice lunch with our friends and church family.
            And, maybe for some of us – especially those few of us who might rather be someplace else on a Sunday morning - our favorite part is the dismissal:
            “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”
            But, actually, I think for all of us the dismissal should be, if not our favorite, then at least one of the most important parts of the service.
            “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”
             As some of you know, Friday marked the end of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
            Every three years, thousands of Episcopalians gather for nearly two weeks to take care of the business of the church, setting priorities and making budgets for the following three years.
            This time around there were two big decisions that caught the attention of many Episcopalians and also the news media.
            The first was the election of The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry to serve as Presiding Bishop for the next nine years. This caught people’s eye because, as I mentioned last week, he is the first African-American to be elected Presiding Bishop.
            That’s important and worthy of thanksgiving but I’m equally thankful that he has an obvious love of Jesus and eagerness to share the Good News with a world that is so hungry for the Gospel.
            Bishop Curry has already begun to send us out there to love and serve the Lord.
            Second, you may have heard that General Convention voted overwhelmingly to change the rules of the church to allow for same-sex marriages.
            In parts of the church, very much including the Diocese of Newark, same-sex blessings and more recently weddings have been going on for years, but just like the country, that hasn’t been true everywhere.
            Now, according to the canons of the church there is just marriage – not same-sex marriage.
            Needless to say, many people have been overjoyed about this development, while others… not so much.
            I’m well aware that there are different views about this right here at St. Paul’s, which, of course is fine so long as we continue to treat each other with love, as we nearly always do.
            For better or for worse, this decision marks the end of about 40 years of reflection, discussion, and, yes, quite a bit of fighting about the place of LGBT people in the Episcopal Church.
            My prayer is that we will now use that same kind of energy that we’ve devoted to this issue now to go in peace to love and serve the Lord – to go out there – to go out there and share the Good News with a city that is so hungry for the Gospel.
            In today’s gospel lesson we hear the story of Jesus visiting his hometown of Nazareth.
            At first, things seem to go well.
            As he’s done in other places, Jesus teaches in the synagogue and astounds everyone with his wisdom.
            But, rather than celebrating the Nazareth boy made good, the locals begin to question where this Jesus the craftsman – the son of Mary – we know his brothers and sisters – we remember him as a little kid – they question where did he get all of this?
            Mark tells us that Jesus’ own townspeople and probably members of his own family – people he’s known and loved his whole life – they take offense at him.
            In fact, the negativity in Nazareth – the lack of faith – is so powerful that Jesus could perform few acts of power there.
            And then, notice what happens next.
            Jesus doesn’t despair, doesn’t waste time moping around the house, doesn’t waste time trying to convince his stubborn and close-minded neighbors, family, and friends that he has Good News for them.
            No, Jesus goes out there to love and serve – Jesus goes out to the other villages and teaches there.
            And then, he sends out the twelve apostles – sends out the often weak and confused and quarrelsome apostles - sends them out to do his work – to continue his work - of teaching and healing and calling people to repentance.
            Jesus sends them out there with almost nothing.
            “He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts…”
            Jesus sends them out there with almost nothing – but with everything they need.
            As the Lord said to St. Paul, an apostle who was burdened by some kind of ailment, we don’t know what: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
            Today, Jesus sends us out there with almost nothing – but with everything we need.
            Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
            We are sent - not alone but two by two, together - we are sent into a city hungry for the Gospel.
            We are sent into a city where the haves have so much but are often so spiritually poor.
            We are sent into a city where there are so many have-nots, including some of us right here - people not sure they can make rent, fearful that they won’t be able to feed themselves or their families, despairing that life will never get better and only get worse.
            We are sent into a city where every morning people are lined up outside liquor stores and bars waiting for them to open – a city where people are stumbling around drunk or high at all hours of the day and night – a city where in some neighborhoods there are people on nearly every corner looking to sell poison to us, to our neighbors, our children, and those who drive in from out of town looking to get high.
            We are sent into a city that can be a cold, hard place on even a hot, sunny summer day – a place where no one seems to care – where everyone seems to just look out for number one.
            Jesus has given us a tough mission. There’s no time to despair, no time to mope around the house.
            Yes, we’ll be rejected just like Jesus was rejected and just as the first apostles were rejected.
            Yes, we don’t seem to have enough – after all it’s just us with all of our weaknesses, insecurities and failures.
            But, the truth is we’ve been given all that we need to go out there and share the Good News – to love the hard to love and to heal what’s so terribly broken.
            The Lord says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
            Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.