Kuhn Memorial Presbyterian Church 955 Main St. Barboursville, West Virginia 25504 November 29, 2020 First Sunday in Advent
Lighting the Candle of Hope James Walters, Readers
Light a candle before beginning the reading. It does not matter what kind of candle. One of the interesting things about the pandemic is seeing how resourceful people can be.
Advent is a time of holy expectation. Of waiting. Of preparing for the coming of the Christ Child.
For the four Sundays before Christmas, we prepare ourselves by recalling both the prophecies that foretold of Christ’s coming and the gospel stories of his birth. In prayer, we examine our hearts and reflect on our life of faith. We consider the needs of the world, as well as the needs of those close to home. We seek a fresh sense of God’s presence and power for the year ahead.
On this first Sunday we light the candle of hope.
We light this candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.
Advent means coming.
The prophet Isaiah announced:
We are preparing ourselves for the days
when the nations shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore. Isaiah 2:4
Eternal God, through long generations you prepared a way
for the coming of your Son,
and by your Spirit,
you still bring light to illumine our paths.
Renew us in faith and hope
that we may welcome Christ to rule our thoughts
and claim our love,
as Lord of lords and King of kings,
to whom be glory forever. Amen
Book of Common Worship, Westminster, John Knox Press, 1993, Louisville, Ky.
Hymn Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus Charles Wesley
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art.
Dear desire of every nation, joy of every trembling heart.
Born thy people to deliver; born a child and yet a king.
Born to reign in us forever; now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone.
By thine all-sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.
Prayer of Confession
God of the future, you are coming in power to bring all nations under your rule.
We confess that we have not expected your kingdom, for we live causal lives, ignoring your promised judgment. We accept lies as truth, exploit neighbors, abuse the earth, and refuse your justice and peace. In your mercy, forgive us. Grant us wisdom to welcome your way, and to seek things that will endure when Christ comes to judge the world.
Take, O Take Me as I Am
Summon out what I shall be.
Set your seal upon my heart
and live in me. Repeat.
Assurance of Pardon
The mercies of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting. Know you are forgiven and be at peace.
Scripture Reading Luke 1:1-4, 26-38
The Morning Message
Once in Chicago there was a group of boys, teen-age type, who assembled themselves under the basketball hoops at their school. They did this almost daily. Good friends. Stayed out of trouble and were generally good to have around.
On one particular day, a big, tall and bald African American man strode up and asked if he could play a little with them. They looked him over and said sure, that would be ok.
Then they went to work wearing each other out, an event of sweating and heavy breathing from one end of the playground to the other. The new guy was good. He could jump and run and never missed a shot. But he was not a ball hog and wasn’t mean. The boys glanced at each other often during this event. Who is this guy, they silently asked each other, and why would he want to spend time with us?
They suspected he might be that famous basketball star whose initials are MJ, but surely he wouldn’t be caught dead on a school playground with a bunch of boys who wouldn’t impress anyone with their skills.
So on they ran and jumped and shot and rebounded until the sun went down and it was time to head for home. On the way, they wondered if it could really be MJ or was it just wishful thinking?
Luke goes to great effort to tell his readers that the story we are about to hear is authentic, real. He sets it in a concrete time and place to lend authority to his facts.
In 1968 my grandmother and I went to England to visit my uncle and his family. They lived there off and on for twenty years. Neither of us had a passport, so there was some leg work to be done. Mine was no problem. Grandma’s was. She was born in 1916 in Ironton, Ohio. The Lawrence County courthouse had since burned and all records including birth records had been destroyed. So, in order to have proof of her birthplace, birth date and birth parents, she had to find someone who could testify in a court of law to these things.
And she did. She located “Aunt Addie” who was present at the birth of one Phyllis Eileen Parker, on Dec. 14, 1916, in Ironton, Ohio.
That is what Luke is doing here, laying out proof these things took place. They were not conjured up by some religious cult or the teachings of a camel-shirted mystic. The news can be trusted. And before we think that people are immediately enlightened by good tidings of great joy, think again. Remember how often we question just how authentic and reliable our own news is in 2020. The whole year seems like a continuous newsfeed. Some reliable, some not.
Brian Blount, of Union Seminary, reminds us that the Christmas we celebrate today is a far cry from the one the shepherds attended and the angels sang about. He called the first Christmas, the birthday of Jesus, an “edgy thing.” This was a radical thing that God was doing, something way out on the edge of wisdom and experience. It was certainly not what an oppressed people had in mind. A baby? A needy little kid? And worse, a poor, needy, probably illegitimate baby?
Yes. When Cyreneous was Governor of Syria in a town called Bethlehem. He grew in wisdom and stature. He assumed a rabbi’s life. He spent his days among the people…healing the sick and hurting, comforting the hearts of the bereaved, feeding hungry crowds, pointing the way out of a sinful, destructive life and toward a loving, generous, forgiving God. This was the life the early followers were called to share.
This is the story of our faith and we celebrate it every year, though we may do that differently this year. And I think that may be a good thing. Our lack of Christmas parties and programs may just offer us a little extra time for thoughtful reflection. We could approach this season as a time to ask ourselves if we’ve grown any this year, learned something new, made a new friend or helped someone.
We may even be brave enough to review our hardships, the moments of pain and struggle, the times we didn’t feel like trusting God and we didn’t see any need to forgive our debtors.
These are our edges, the gnarly places that have been around every corner this year. How many of us know someone who has lost a job or lost a family member? As compassionate believers, how readily have we shared the good news of Jesus Christ with someone in need or hurting, to take them a plate of something or comfort them when their hearts were breaking? There have been many , many opportunities to skate on that gospel edge this year, too.
Can we trust scripture? Is it still reliable? Can we apply the lessons of the first believers to our 21st century lives? Yes. Mary was only around 15 years old when the angel visited her announcing the news about her pregnancy. What most young women of her day would consider a scandal, a thing of shame, Mary received as a gift. The life she bore, with all its complications, gave life to the world.
I thought about this many times recently. The pandemic has us thinking and planning and behaving differently. But how many of us went to some extra effort to make up for the sense of loss we experienced this Thanksgiving? Did you Zoom or Facetime or text repeatedly on Thursday to let your loved ones know how very much you missed them? To say, “I love you. You are important to me.”
We have met enormous challenges in 2020. Edgy realities were forced upon us. But we are Christians. And if this season gives our lives meaning, then we will meet whatever
2021 holds…I am so thankful to be in this life and in this time with all of you.
Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer
God of all years, you have blessed us in so many ways. Our hearts are full of gratitude. Though most of us celebrated Thanksgiving in a different way, apart from loved ones, we are never far from you. Your presence comforts us. As we dedicate ourselves to mindfulness over our health and safety, we have hope that we may soon live with more freedom of movement and freedom from fear.
Our neighbors, friends and family have many needs. Walk alongside them, Lord, as you have done with your people over time, that they might find peace and security in you love and compassion.
As we begin this season of Advent, our hopes are genuine, that you will come in glory to reconcile all things. With a sense of healing and wholeness, we give you all thanks and praise, this day and always, as we pray in Jesus’ name, saying, Our Father…Amen.
Blessing Isaiah 12
Surely God is our salvation, we will trust in God and not be afraid, for the Lord God is our Strength and Might. Shout aloud and sing for joy…for great in our midst is the Holy One of Zion.
The Worship and Evangelism Committee welcomes your contributions for worship this Advent season. Please contact Cinda Harkless to make arrangements. 304,634.5831(cell/text)
Kuhn Memorial Presbyterian church 955 Main Street Barboursville, West Virginia 25504 November 22, 2020 Christ the King Sunday
Call to Worship Revelation 22:13
The Lord is a great God who says,
“I am the Alpha and Omega,
the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.”
Prayer of the Day
Almighty and everlasting God,
whose will it is to restore all things
to your well-beloved Son, our Lord and King,
grant that the people of earth,
now divided and enslaved by sin,
may be freed and brought together
under his gentle and loving rule,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever. Amen.
Hymn We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessing
We gather together, to ask the Lord’s blessing.
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
the wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to his name, he forgets not his own.
We all do adore thee, thou leader triumphant,
and pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
Reading from Scripture
The Morning Message
I have two questions for us to consider today:
1.Do you choose to live in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ…or not?
2.How can you make your choice real?
I confess that this is not an original idea, but one I heard during Thursday’s presbytery meeting. It was also the subject of a blog I enjoy reading.*
I ask these questions, because, we have come to the end of the liturgical year, the very last Sunday. Advent, preparing for the birth of Christ, is our first season. As we move through the months, we meet Jesus at the mileposts of his life. When we get to this Sunday, Christ the King, or Reign of Christ, we are called on to consider the year we’ve traveled, how we have related to Christ and how we have exhibited his kingdom on earth.
This year, Christ the King Sunday may mark the end of the church year, but it does not mark the end of our challenges. They will continue and that truth hurts. How many of us quietly held onto the hope that, though this year of the pandemic has been disruptive in so many, many ways, we had Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to?
I certainly did. My husband and I miss our daughters and our grandchildren all the time. They are in North Carolina. But, we always visit at the holidays. It’s like filling up at the emotional fuel station. Memories are made, plans are made to tide us over til the next visit. Our son-in-law lost his grandfather this year. There is nothing like being in the heart of family to heal a wound that deep. But, it may not be possible in this season. We are being warned against traveling.
Here we are. Christ the King Sunday, the feast day that celebrates the fact that, though earthly rulers come and go, and even at the height of their power, they only rule over a very small part of the created universe. But, Jesus’ reign is eternal and cosmic in its proportions.
It is a reign that is founded on the principals of justice and integrity-where those who live according to the values of the Kingdom will feel at home- and those who do not will find it an alien place. Christ knows us, all of us, no matter our circumstances. And Christ knows that how we live our lives, day in and day out, shows what kind of person we are. How we live is a better measure of our character than what we say.
In this text, Jesus’ criteria for separating people is based on their actions, how they live out their days on this earth.
Those that had done the tasks of Kingdom living-feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned-they were told, that whenever they ministered to a person in need, they were doing those things unto Jesus himself. This shouldn’t have been earth-shaking news. This is what they had witnessed Jesus himself doing.
Then, turning to the others, Jesus said that when they refused to help a person in need, they were refusing him. This was a surprise, too, but, it shouldn’t have been.
Jesus was teaching, or re-teaching-a fundamental rule of kingdom-living: We are the body of Christ. We are united with him- in life, death, and resurrection. What we do, one for another, builds up, enriches, and heals the body. What we fail to do, when we fail to serve as Christ serves, weakens and diminishes the body.
Jesus is a king unlike any ruler of this earth. For which we can truly thank God. Jesus is not an authoritarian, a despot who orders his subjects to be at his beck and call. A tyrant who wields insults and inflicts pain because that’s the way he intimidates and controls people.
No. Jesus, is the king who throws open the doors of his dwelling-place and invites us all in. Jesus welcomes us into the fullness of his life. A life that calls a little boy to share his lunch, a life that compels a paralyzed man’s friends to cut a hole in the roof of a house so he can be lowered into Jesus’ presence. A life of spiritual adventure.
So, friends, will you choose kingdom-living in the year ahead? If you live with a sense of mutuality, if you find comfort, peace, fulfillment, in community, you will likely find this way of life appealing.
If you are a solitary soul, independent, not a joiner, you might find this way of life un-appealing. I get it. I have strong introversion tendencies. Being alone usually isn’t a problem for me.
But, I urge you to trust Jesus and his associates on this. Eight months of solitude gets old, even to an introvert.
I think we know how 2020 ends. What we don’t know is what the future holds. But we know who holds the future. I can live with that. So, I invite you to choose Christ’s realm and to make that choice real.
*Wellspring of the Gospel
Prayers of the Faithful and the Lord’s Prayer
O God, the first and the last, our beginning and our ending, hear our prayers on this Christ the King Sunday. Remind us that our true citizenship is in your kingdom and empower us to seek your love, justice, and mercy in all we do and say. Grant us courage to speak out against any hatred, prejudice, or abuse of power that seeks to harm others. May we work to usher in a fuller image of your kingdom here on earth, where all are treated with respect, where none go without life’s basic necessities, and people of all races, religions, and circumstances are welcomed and valued.
As we review these last days of the church year, may our good intentions be blessed and may we be granted grace where we failed.
We pray for those who are need of healing and wholeness this day, those in our fellowship of faith, and those we name in our hearts. As the pandemic wears on, encourage and strengthen us to persevere. While we will miss coming together with friends and families in this season, comfort us with your presence while we are absent one from the other.
We pray in Jesus’ name and for his sake, saying, Our Father…Amen.
Hymn Crown Him With Many Crowns
Crown him with many crows, the Lamb upon his throne;
hark, how the heavenly anthem drowns all music but his own!
Awake, my soul, and sing of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Crown him the Lord of Love; behold his hands and side,
rich wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified;
no angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.
Crown him the Lord of Peace, whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease, absorbed in prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end; and round his pierced feet
fair flowers of paradise extend their fragrance ever sweet.
Crown his the Lord of Years, the Potentate of Time;
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For thou hast died for me;
Thy praise shall never, never fail throughout eternity.
Through every season of every year,
may God’s blessing be upon you
that you may be strengthened to do your part
in advancing Christ’s Kingdom. Amen.
Worship for November 15, 2020
The following service of worship was produced by the staff of the Presbytery of West Virginia. Appropriate for the season, the theme directs our attention to the themes of Thanksgiving and Stewardship.
May you find it a blessing.
STEWARDSHIP-THEMED SERVICE OF WORSHIP
LED BY THE STAFF OF THE PRESBYTERY OF WEST VIRGINIA
Call to Worship Sarah Specht and Ed Thompson
One: Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
All: We glorify our God with songs of thanksgiving and joy.
One: God has done great things for us, filling us with joy.
All: God fed our ancestors in the wilderness, God clothes us with hope.
One: We will offer our hearts to God, always saying, 'thank you!' to the one who loves us.
All: We will sing our praises, shouting of God's presence in our lives. Let us worship God.
Hymn “Now Thank We All Our God” Susan Sharp Campbell
1 Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things hath done, in whom this world rejoices; who, from our mothers' arms, hath blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
2 O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us, with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us; and keep us in God's grace, and guide us when perplexed, and free us from all ills in this world and the next.
3 All praise and thanks to God, who reigns in highest heaven, to Father and to Son and Spirit now be given: the one eternal God, whom heaven and earth adore, the God who was, and is, and shall be evermore.
Call to Confession Sarah Specht
God has poured out God’s grace that overflows for us through Christ Jesus.
Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sins.
Prayer of Confession Ed Thompson
God of every blessing, too often we sow sparingly, because we want to be the ones who reap. We don’t want to share the reward of our work. We question the motives of people who ask for our help. Too often we sow sparingly, because we fear we will not have enough. Too often we sow sparingly, because we lose confidence that our offerings make a difference.
We confess that we sow sparingly, because we forget to see the world you are calling into being, emerging in the very midst of the world as we know it. We confess that we think this work is all up to us, instead of trusting your providence. Open our hearts and hands and minds, Generous One, to new vision and new trust. Help us, God, to know that in the very act
of giving, we are praying for a healed world. Remind us that our gifts are seeds that multiply into a great harvest. A-men.
Assurance of Pardon Sarah Specht
This is the good news: as God dresses creation in wonder, so you will be clothed in grace; as God pours out abundance upon the earth, so you will be blessed with peace and joy. Thanks be to God for healing, for life, for wonder, for mercy. We are blessed, for we are forgiven. Amen.
Prayer for Illumination Amy Robinson
Holy and gracious God,
may your Holy Spirit give us
a spirit of wisdom and revelation,
so that, with the eyes of our hearts enlightened,
we may know the hope to which Christ has called us,
the riches of his glorious inheritance among us,
and the greatness of his power for those who believe.
Scripture Readings Deuteronomy 8:7-18 Rocky Poole
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Time with the Children Maureen Wright
Sermon Rocky Poole
Hymn “We Give Thee but Thine Own”
1 We give thee but thine own, whate'er the gift may be; all that we have is thine alone, a trust, O Lord, from thee.
2 May we thy bounties thus as stewards true receive, and gladly, as thou blessest us, to thee our first fruits give.
3 The captive to release, to God the lost to bring, to teach the way of life and peace: it is a Christ-like thing.
4 And we believe thy word, though dim our faith may be; whate'er we do for thine, O Lord, we do it unto thee.
Prayers of the People Mark Miller
Offering Nellie Howard
Offertory Music Barbara Chalfant
Prayer of Dedication
Hymn “Take My Life “
1 Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee; take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
2 Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love; take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee, swift and beautiful for thee.
3 Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King; take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee, filled with messages from thee.
4 Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold; take my intellect and use every power as thou shalt choose, every power as thou shalt choose.
5 Take my will and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine. Take my heart, it is thine own; it shall be thy royal throne, it shall be thy royal throne.
6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour at thy feet its treasure store; take myself and I will be ever, only, all for thee, ever, only, all for thee.
Benediction Rocky Poole
The Call to Worship and Assurance of Pardon are from lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com, 11/17/14 by Thom M. Shuman. The Prayer of Confession is adapted from ucc.org/oghs/resources. The Prayer for Illumination is from pcusa.org.
Call to Worship Psalm 78
Let us open our minds to God’s teaching;
and tune our ear to God’s word.
Let us listen to the stories of the faith of our ancestors;
and share our stories with our children.
We put our trust in God.
We worship the One who gives us life.
Prayer of the Day
God of heaven and earth, God of sunrise and sunset, God of the highest mountain and the deepest valley, hear our prayers as we come before you. Declare your message to us and grant us the courage to listen. May our listening turn to action. May our actions touch the hearts of those who need to hear your voice. We live today and every day confident of your everlasting presence, care, and love. Amen.
Hymn Thy Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet Text: Amy Grant; Music: Michael W. Smith, 1984
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto thy path.
When I feel afraid, and I think I’ve lost my way, still you’re there right beside me.
Nothing will I fear as long as you are near.
Please be near me to the end. Repeat.
Readings from Scripture
The Morning Message
“As for me and my house, we will love the Lord.”
This beautiful cross stitch has been in my office ever since I was ordained. It was a gift from a friend and former member of the church I served for almost twenty-five years. The needle work is lovely, and the Bible verse is one by which my friend lives. She is a ruling elder, but, truth be told, she is a minister, living out her calling as a therapist, working with people caught in the real hell of drug and alcohol abuse, giving them hope and courage to begin the life-long commitment to recovery. This sets them on the path to be reconciled to God and loved ones.
In many churches, this is stewardship season. It was during last year’s stewardship season that I first joined you as your pastor-to-be. That special dinner, held every year around Thanksgiving, is a time to come together and consider all God has given us, now and eternally, and how we might return to God what is God’s- our time, our gifts, and our money.
Because of the pandemic, the church is doing lots of things differently, including stewardship campaigns. It is a quiet one this year. We are missing a delicious fellowship meal and the joy of one another’s company. But we are not without hope. We know that we will be together one day to break bread and catch up.
Until and beyond that time, the mission and ministry of Kuhn Memorial continues. The question still remains: How shall I respond to God’s love and care for me? For my family? For my church? How do I thank God for this life of blessing, even in these challenging times?
In our Old Testament reading, Joshua preaches, what pastor Peter Wallace calls “a barnburner of a stewardship sermon.” Joshua declares to the Israelites, “If you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve.” In other words, if you won’t serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then go right ahead and choose the idol of your fancy. “But, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
And what do the people do? They shout, “Yes! Yes! We will serve the Lord!”
But then Joshua tests them: “You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God, a jealous God. If you forsake the Lord and serve idols, then God will turn and do you harm…”
The message apparently finds its mark because the people reply, “No, we will serve the Lord!”
We Presbyterians avoid talking about “sinners in the hands of an angry God.” We don’t urge giving as fire insurance. Instead, we focus on God’s love and grace and providence. We believe stewardship touches all aspects of our lives. How we spend our time, how we care for our homes and vehicles, how we educate our children are all a matter of stewardship.
In our gospel reading, Jesus tells the parable of the bridesmaids. Now, I officiated a wedding recently. It was a beautiful day, full of joy and hope and dancing and a bountiful feast. The sun was high in the azure October sky. Color was all around the outdoor setting. If the wedding party ran out of anything, we’ll never know. It seemed pretty flawless to me.
In the Matthew text, we are at a wedding. A number of young women are awaiting the groom’s arrival. When he arrives, they will accompany him to the bride’s home. That was the custom. Apparently he watched the game too long and got a late start to the ceremony. The delay had an impact on the bridesmaids. Some of the girls had extra oil and could keep their lamps burning, but some packed light for this event and they ran out.
So, the “foolish” ones run out to the mall to buy more oil. When they return, the party has started, the door is shut, and they miss out.
Now, we usually hear this story in judgmental terms, in reference to Christ’s ultimate return to judge the living and the dead. But, borrowing again from Peter Wallace, let’s reframe this story a bit.
He suggests that Jesus may be setting us up in this story. We are so anxious to get the point that we miss it. This parable is more than who has oil and who does not. Who meets the groom when he arrives late for his own party, and who is running errands. It’s about more than who gets into the wedding and who the bouncer sends packing.
Wallace suggests it’s a story of relationships. He says sometimes we’re so distracted by our lamps and our oil, the height of the grass in our front yard, the hundred Zoom links we have to juggle to keep up with our classes in Covid Academy, that we focus on the “doing” in life, the busyness and duties, that neglect the “being.” We cross tasks off a list, and we’re good at it, but in the process, we sacrifice our relationships.
Some questions are raised in this text that are never answered. Like, why was the groom so late? That seems disrespectful to the bride and her family. Why didn’t the girls who had oil to spare not share it? Why did the others go shopping when they knew they ran the risk of missing the groom? And, why would a host be so offended that he would slam the door in the faces of some teenage girls who misjudged the supplies they needed to participate in a wedding tradition?
We can get so obsessed with our obligations that we forget to take care of ourselves. A friend of mine once said she had gotten so tied up with the care of her kids, checking their school work, and getting them to the doctor for flu shots, that she hadn’t visited the bathroom all day. I know, I could have kept that to myself. But, the point is, we should never find ourselves so busy that we fail to care for the body we’ve been given, for it is God’s masterpiece, too.
We may read this story differently at another time, but, for today, this is my take on it. We all have lamps and oil. It doesn’t matter how much oil we have, or how plentiful our resources are or aren’t. What matters is receiving and using our gifts as expressions of our gratitude for grace given.
During these stressful days, those expressions may be found in loving and supporting one another while we are apart. This is one way we can live out Joshua’s words, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Prayers of the Faithful and the Lord’s Prayer
Go now and follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before us in Christ.
Love the Lord.
Serve God in sincerity and faithfulness.
Teach those who come after you to trust in God.
And may God protect you along the way;
May Christ Jesus keep you alert and prepared.
And may the Holy Spirit fuel the lamp that guides your path.