Sunday, August 31, 2014

Trinity 11 sermon

Trinity 11 – Luke 18 – August 31st, 2014

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit +
          Today we tend to have a false, shallow understanding of sin.  A simplistic view.  Today, when we think of sin, we tend to think first and foremost of big, flashy sins that are open and obvious to everyone.  We think of the vices as being the big, dangerous sins.  Murder.  Adultery.  Theft.  The big, obvious things, the things that would make the cops come and arrest you.  And over and against vice, we will pit virtue – being kind, being generous, so on and so forth – keep your nose clean.  And we treat the main question as to whether or not you will follow virtue or vice – there’s the distinction, that’s what defines you.  Virtue or vice, good or bad, naughty or nice.  The only thing is, that’s not the way the Scriptures really speak of sin.  Sin is something much more pervasive, something much more dangerous, something mere human virtue is powerless against.  And to illustrate this point, Christ Jesus our Lord tells the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, which we will consider today.

          “He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt.”  And here is the occasion for the parable.  Jesus sees the self-righteous treat others with contempt.  Jesus sees those who follow virtue, who are virtuous, show scorn upon those less virtuous than themselves, than those who follow the “vices”.  Already the comparison game begins, already the I’m better than him game is afoot – and the worst, the dangerous part is, they were probably right.  From an worldly perspective, on the scale of virtue and vice, they probably were better than the folks upon whom they had contempt.  But does that really matter?  Is that really important?  Let us listen to Jesus. 

          “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.”  This is a fantastic set up by Jesus.  The two men in question in this parable – they are both in the temple.  They both claim to know God, to trust and worship Him.  They are both in temple, they are both praying, they both are paying some attention to the Word of God.  But the Pharisee and the tax collector had a different way of reading, a different goal in hearing the Word and approaching God.  “The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’”  There stands the Pharisee.  The paragon of Virtue.  And if we are to understand this parable, we must accept and believe this Pharisee at face value.  He IS a really good guy. And the list of bad, naughty things that he doesn’t engage in – it’s good not to engage in those.  Extortion is bad – I’m from Chicago, my grandpa lived in Calumet City 2 miles from where Al Capone set up his suburbian shop – extortion is bad.  Being unjust is bad.  Giving people the shaft, cheating them, treating them poorly – that’s bad.  Having affairs, sleeping around.  That’s bad, that’s the path of heartbreak and nasty disease.  This Pharisee has read the Scriptures and by golly he has paid attention to the warnings and he has strived to pay heed!  And more than that – he is a good fellow.  He is a practioner of virtue.  He fasts twice a week – that was the good, pious custom.  Fast on Monday and Thursday, if you want to be really, really good.  And he did.  And tithes – oh, never let it be said that a pastor ever speaks against tithing.  And he tithes – 10%, off the top, before taxes, before anything else.  With no one checking up on him, without someone looking at his books and saying, “You made this much and you only gave that, you cheapskate?”  Nope, a virtuous man.  Everything he says is true… learned even from the Good Book itself.

          But, he missed the point.  All the vices he avoided, all the virtues he embodied, those are… nice.  They are taught in the Scriptures.  But they aren’t the main point.  For that, one needs hear the tax collector.  “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.”  Where are these guys praying again?  It’s not just that two men were standing the park one day and decided to pray.  It’s not that there was some sort of pray-off challenge thrown down on the school yard or something like that.  They are in the temple.  The Temple.  What is the Temple?  It is the place where the sacrifices to atone for sin took place.  The whole center of Jewish worship was always the tabernacle and then the Temple, the Ark of the Covenant, the Altar.  Yom Kippur – the day of atonement.  Passover – where by the blood of the Lamb God makes death pass us over and instead gives us life, even though we deserve death.  While the Scriptures do tell us, do teach us about virtue and vice, give us examples enough, that isn’t their point.  The point is this – God is merciful to sinners, sinners like this tax collector.

          You know, we don’t know anything about the open, outward, public life of this tax collector.  In general, tax collectors were thought to be lousy and were hated.  This one – we don’t know.  Maybe he was harsh, maybe he was kind.  Maybe he tithed or even gave more than the Pharisee.  Mayhaps he was faithful to his wife, kind to the neighborhood children.  Or maybe not.  We don’t know.  And frankly, for the point Jesus wants to make, we don’t need to know.  The point is not about how openly and outwardly virtuous a person is, it’s not about who looks good and who looks bad.  Jesus is not Santa Claus – the book of Life doesn’t separate you out into naughty and nice.  No, the reality that this tax collector sees first is that he is a sinner.  Period.  He’s not going to hide behind his virtue.  He’s not going to claim that he’s not like other men.  No, he is a sinner, and even his righteous deeds are but as filthy rags, nothing where with to impress God almighty.  And so how does this wretch, this man who sees his sin dare to come to the Temple?  Because the Scripture teach that God is merciful, and he believes.

          Sin isn’t just doing bad stuff.  Sin is not just vice.  Sin is a state of rebellion against God, that constant pull away from Him that we all experience.  It isn’t just that there are a few, select deeds that are “bad” and that if we do those then we are sinners.  No, we are sinful, everything is tinged and tainted with sin, in all that we do we are sinners.  And part of that sin is that we like to set up hedges against God, we like to hide behind our “virtue” or the fact that we are better than others.  We will even create new virtues, new vices, to show how good we are.  “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t dance – these are the good Christian things.  And if you’re a good Christian, why, of course, you’ll do X, Y, and Z – you’ll vote for this party and take that ice bucket challenge but only give money to this charity and not that one… and so on and so forth.  And, of course, remember, if you give more money here, surely God will bless you financially in your life, so open up the check books more” – my smile isn’t big enough to say that line properly. 

          No.  We know all that is false.  We know that is bunk and coarse.  We’re good little Lutherans – we’ve been trained to bow our heads when we pray, just like the tax collector.  But some of that is the problem too.  We can think that we are good little Lutherans – we know, they don’t, see how much better we are.  Always, the sinful flesh loves to separate, loves to pull itself out of the writhing mass of humanity and say, “See, I am better, I am wiser, I know more than they do!”  And we must fight against that, dear friends.  We aren’t better than anyone.  Our confession from the beginning of service rings true – I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto You all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever – EVER – that is ALWAYS, Constantly… ever offended You and justly deserved Your temporal and eternal punishment.  Deserved.  Temporal punishment.  God – my week could be ten times worse than it was, and I’d have no ground to complain.  Frankly, I deserve hell.  Eternal punishment, and if I’m not getting that, I’ve go no room to complain.

          And yet, how quickly do we wander off from that confession?  How quickly do we stop thinking like that?  How often in the course of the week do we lament how things aren’t far, or how so-and-so just isn’t pulling her weight and if only he did things better like me?  Does it even have to wait for the service to be over, or have you had thoughts like that since confession this morning?  Happens to me often enough.  And Luther sums this all up as temptation – Lead us not into temptation.  What does this mean?  God tempts no one.  We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into… into what?  False belief, despair, and other great shame and vice.  The greatest shame, the greatest vice isn’t anything anyone can see.  It is false belief, the worship of yourself, self idolatry, the idea that you bring anything to the table, anything to your relationship with God, the idea that God owes you because you are better than your neighbor.  And this is something the world around us constantly hammers us with, constantly butters us up with, and we listen.

          No, you are a sinner.  Plain and simple.  Sinful, through and through.  This is the truth, a truth that if it were all we saw, we would be left in utter despair.  That’s why the world strives so hard to pretend their sin doesn’t exist, or that we are better “them”.  If you only see your sin, you despair, so the nice sounding lies continue.  But there is a greater truth, a more wondrous truth.  Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  For God shows His love for us in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Though you were dead in your trespasses, it is by grace you have been saved through faith, a gift, freely given, apart from your works.  Your works add nothing to it.  Because it is upon the Cross where Christ Jesus, God Himself, wins you forgiveness.  There is the true Temple, the True Altar, the True Sacrifice where God is merciful to you, the sinner.  Where God takes your sin away and blots it out, where God pours upon you life and forgiveness as blood and water flow from His pierced side – water that flows to this font today, blood shed for you for the remission of your sins and placed upon your lips in His Supper today.  This is the great truth – the tax collector prayed wisely – God is merciful to sinners.

          What defines you before God, dear friends, is not a list of your virtues and vices.  God doesn’t need your virtuous living – you neighbor benefits from it, but before God, it accounts for nothing.  No, before Him you remain this – a sinner, a sinner who is covered by the blood of Christ and redeemed by Him, one of His holy saints.  Be on guard against any thought, any false pride that would make you define yourself or think of yourself differently.  Rather – cling to Christ Jesus, for He is faithful and just to cleanse you from all your iniquity.  This is truth.  Amen.  In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

St. Bartholomew's Day Sermon

St. Bartholomew’s Day – August 24th, 2014 – John 1:43-51

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit +
          So, today is St. Bartholomew’s day, and if I were to ask, “Alright, tell me what the Apostle Bartholomew ended up doing, where he preached, where he taught” – I doubt many in this room could answer.  I myself had to look it up.  When it comes to the Apostles – he’s not really one of the big ones, the famous ones.  We really don’t know much about him.  We know he was called by two names – Bartholomew and Nathanael.  He was a friend of Phillip.  And according to the legends, he heads north and east, preaching in Arminea, and then even heading all the way over to India.  And as for his death – well, he was reported to be martyred most horrifically, being flayed alive.  Hence you will see artwork with Bartholomew holding his own skin – and he is also the patron saint of tanners.  So why today, then?  I mean, if we were observing a day for Paul or for Peter there would be many great tales that we could tell, that we could learn from.  But why today, this day for this Apostle who is, really, relatively obscure?

          We like to judge people by their works.  We like to assign people a place in the holy and spiritual pecking order on the basis of what they have done.  It can be almost like the college football polls – which Christian is number 1, which one is moving up in the ranks?  I’m sure this fall will lead to discussions of whether OU or OSU is better, even though the answer should be obvious to everyone.  While that can be fun and games, that’s not how we are supposed to be approaching our lives as Christians, as brothers and sisters in Christ.  Our job is not to try to point out that I’m better than him or she’s better than her or what have you – for we are all alike sinners forgiven by God, called out of darkness into His marvelous light.  And here today we see the call of Bartholomew, the call of Nathanael.  And this reminds us that our standing, our place with God is not based upon what we have done, nor upon the fame that our works bring – but rather upon His love for us.

          So, let’s look at our text.  “The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee.  He found Phillip and said to him, ‘Follow Me.” Now Phillip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  Phillip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  There was a switch there in the text, a simple, common, egotistical switch there in the text.  Jesus finds Phillip – all the credit goes to Jesus… but then what does Phillip say?  “We have found”.  Did you see it – Phillip shifts the focus, Phillip takes the credit.  Instead of saying, “The Messiah came to me” Phillip talks about himself, what he found.  I figured it out, Nathanael, I got the right answer!  And this helps to explain Nathanael’s answer – “Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’”  Your answer, what you think you’ve done – it sounds stupid.  And this actually is funny – we are used to Jesus of Nazareth – we give Nazareth honor.  Back then, it had no honor.  It was the back of beyond.  And Nathanael is skeptical.  But Phillip leans upon Nathanael, and he comes along, and then we hear this: “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!’”  Well look here, an Israelite who doesn’t let the wool get pulled over his eyes, who will speak his mind, who will say something sounds like bunk when it sounds like bunk.

          And Nathanael remains skeptical.  “Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do you know me?’”  Now, that’s sort of a saucy reply.  That “how” is a word of doubt – when Sarah hears that she is going to have a kid at 90 she asks, “how”.  Yeah, just how do you think you know me, pal?  We ain’t never met and you don’t know me from Adam.  “Jesus answered him, ‘Before Phillip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’  Nathanael answered Him, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God!  You are the King of Israel!’”  Actually, Nathanael, I do know you, and I know Adam, for I created you both.  I am well aware of who you are, even more aware of you than you are yourself.  And Nathanael is quick on the uptake; he’s read his scriptures, he knows what this means.  The Son of God.  The King of Israel.  Two great confessions of faith.

          And Jesus responds:  Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe?  You will see greater things than these.”  And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”  It’s good that you know who I am, Nathanael, but do you know what I have come to do?  I’ve come to do something much more important than merely show that I am the Son of God, the King of Israel – I have come to open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers, I have come to win redemption and forgiveness and eternal life with My own death and resurrection.  And you, Nathanael, you will see these things, and I will use you to proclaim these things both near and far… very, very far away. 

          Because that is the point – Christ Jesus and what He is going to accomplish.  The question, dear friends, ought never be about which of us in the greatest, or who is better than who.  That misses the point.  The point is this – that Christ Jesus, God Himself, becomes man and comes to us.  He has beheld you, seen you, and He comes to you, calls out to you, speaks His Word of life to you, so that you would receive the forgiveness of sins.  The Christian faith and life isn’t a contest, it isn’t a matter of acquiring bragging rights, but rather it is receiving from God the blessings He has won with His death and resurrection – it is being called out of darkness into His marvelous light – it is being baptized into Him and receiving His very Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins.

          And then there is Nathanael – Saint Bartholomew.  And it’s fitting this day to remember him, not because of what *he* did – but rather because of what Christ Jesus did through Him.  Through His servant Bartholomew, Christ Jesus took the message, the good news of salvation, and spread it to many places, many tongues.  And this was without great fanfare, without great aplomb.  It’s funny, because the Apostles we know more about, most of the time we know about them because of stories where they messed up, where they didn’t get the right answer and Jesus had to correct them.  But Bartholomew, he just goes quietly about the work that God has given him, that God works up in and through him – without the praise, without attention.  He lives the life God gives him, and many people benefit.

          Now then, let’s consider ourselves.  I think it’s safe to say that most of us here are not famous.  Most people even 50 miles from here wouldn’t know us from Adam, and certainly not out of state.  And as for a lasting legacy – well, I don’t think we’re going to have biographies written about us, school kids won’t learn our names in the centuries to come.  And that, contrary to what American culture says with its love of fame, is perfectly fine.  Here you have Bartholomew, an Apostle – and God puts him to work in relative obscurity.  And here you are, a simple Christian.  And what does God do with you?  He puts you to work here, in a small town, in a wheat field.  No fame.  Very little renown, very little recognition.  And here, Christ Jesus makes you to be the servant He would have you be.  He gives you your family, and puts you to work loving them.  He gives you simple (and maybe annoying) neighbors, and puts you to work loving them.  He feeds you upon His Word, and then you simply share and speak that same Word with others – others in your family, your neighbors, your brothers and sisters here at church – and we live and grow and receive forgiveness together.  And while it does not bring about fame and glory that the world would recognize – it is a great thing.  It is heaven itself being opened, it is the Cross proclaimed, it is forgiveness.  It is life and love and compassion – things far, far greater than worldly fame.

          Because that is what Christ Jesus teaches us.  He does not crave worldly fame or power.  Look at how He brings Himself to you and you to Him.  Baptism – uses just plain water and attaches the world of God.  We don’t even need to use fancy French bottled water, any water will do.  Or the Supper.  Simple bread and wine, and the Word of God is added, and we receive Christ Jesus’ true Body and Blood for the forgiveness of our sins.  It doesn’t have to be fancy bread, it doesn’t have to be a $100 bottle of wine.  Fame and expense isn’t the point – given and shed for YOU for the remission of your sins - that is the point.  Christ comes to you, and He sees that His Word, His life, His forgiveness comes to you, without any crazy hoops to jump through, without any worldly standards to meet.  No, Jesus comes to you.  Just as He came to Bartholomew – just as He came to those who heard Bartholomew preach.  You are redeemed and forgiven by Christ not because of what you have done for Him, but because of His great love and mercy for you.  All praise and glory be to Christ Jesus alone.  In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit + Amen.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Trinity 7 Sermon

Trinity 7, August 3, 2014 – Mark 8:1-9

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit +
          Again.  This is a word we ought to associate with these miraculous feedings.  Again.  “In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat…”  Didn’t we just have this situation?  Wasn’t it back in Lent where the Gospel reading was the feeding of the 5000 from John?  Yep.  And here today, we have a feeding… again.  And you know what – it’s appropriate, because if you look at Mark 6 you will see the feeding of the 5000 – this is Jesus feeing people in chapter 8… again.
          When you look at the Scriptures, things are often repetitive.  They happen over and over and over again.  Once again this week in our Gospel we see a great crowd gathered with nothing to eat.  People running off in their excitement about that miracle worker Jesus who had just healed a deaf man (again), but this time right on their door step.  And I suppose we can understand the people doing this, I mean, they would have been excited, this would have been new and thrilling, we can get that.  But think about Jesus’ disciples for a moment.  Jesus sees the crowd, and He announces that He wants to feed them, and then what do we hear from the disciples?  “And His disciples answered Him, ‘How can one feed these people with bread in this desolate place?’”  Really?  Really disciples – just two chapters ago you saw Him turn the five loaves and 2 fish into enough food for well over 5000 people, and you ask that question?  I mean, I could see if folks in the crowd would think it, but you’ve been with Jesus all this time?  How come you haven’t gotten it yet?

          Now to be fair, to the Jewish mindset, seeing wasn’t believing – it was seeing two or three times that was believing.  Everything had to be proved by two or three witnesses, so maybe that has something to do with it – but still, wouldn’t we expect the disciples of all people to know what is going to happen?  That Jesus will break bread and feed the people there?  And yet, for some reason, it just hasn’t set in yet – and the same questioning, the same dumb doubting of Christ’s power kicks in.  Of course, to be fair, the entire Scriptures are really a history of people falling into the same traps multiple times, over and over again.  Abraham passes off Sarah as his sister and not his wife, twice.  The Israelites grumble about water, twice – in fact the second time upsets Moses so much that he smacks the rock instead of just speaking to it like God had said.  Last week in bible study (at Zion) starting 1st Samuel, we saw a husband with two wives (Elkanah, and his wives Peninnah and Hannah) – and what happens?  The wife who has kids torments Hannah who has none – just like Leah and Rachel.  The book of Judges – over and over the people forget God and get themselves into trouble.  The prophets – they all lament Israel and Judah falling into idol worship and worse.  Over and over, people falling into the same sins, over and over again.

          But, of course, let’s be honest.  The Scriptures are a brutally honest book, and they don’t hide warts.  What if there was a book of the Scriptures based upon your life, or what if you were reading “1st Eric” – how long would it take before you put your face in your hand and said, “I can’t believe he’s doing that… again!”  Because that is the vile nature of sin.  It is repetitive, it is pervasive.  It is habitual, and bad habits are hard to break, and they don’t like to stay broken.  And sadly, when we look back upon our lives – whether it’s the end of the day, or thinking back upon the last week because the preacher is carrying on, or an anniversary, or even on the death bed with regrets flying in front of us, over and over, so often it was the same old stupid things, the same weaknesses, the same faults, the same sins.  Over and over again.

          “In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, He called His disciples to Him and said to them, ‘I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days and have nothing to eat.  And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way.  And some of them have come from far away.’”  So what is Jesus’ response when He sees the crowd show up again?  Disdain?  Mockery?  I can’t believe these people came to listen to me unprepared again?  Nope.  None of that.  He has compassion.  There is no belittling, no complaining about the crowd.  No, these people are with me, I have compassion upon them.  The Greek there means that His guts were wrenched – I feel what they feel, I have compassion because I am with them and they are with Me.

          This is the reality of what it means when we confess that Jesus Christ is both true God and true Man.  This is what Christmas means, this is what the incarnation means.  Jesus has compassion – Jesus came down from heaven, took on a body like yours, like mine, and He experienced life in this world.  All the sorts of things that impact us – whether it is hunger and being faint, as in this text – or being mocked, or hurting, or mourning, being forsaken by friends.  All of those things, He experienced, He has compassion.  And the beautiful difference – whereas as we will use the things that happen to us to justify our bad behavior – eh, I yelled, but I had had a bad day – not so Christ.  With Him, always perfect love.  Even to us.  Even to the disciples who just utterly drop the ball and can’t even guess that He is going to feed the crowd.  Instead, Jesus just does what He needs to do to show care and compassion – And He directed the crowd to sit down on the ground.  And He took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, He broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before the crowd.  And they had a few small fish.  And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them.  And they ate and were satisfied.  And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.  There is no berating, no handwringing.  Just another miraculous feeding – here you go, take this bread that I have blessed and be filled.

          And here we are in this congregation.  Gathered once again.  The same liturgy.  Hymns we’ve sung before.  Readings we’ve heard before.  All of this, appropriate.  Because we here are what we’ve been, poor miserable sinners who struggle with the same sort of junk we’ve been struggling with for the past month, for the past year, for decades, for our entire life.  And yet, here is the wonder – week in, week out, again and again, Christ Jesus has compassion upon you.  He doesn’t get sick of you, He doesn’t get tired of you.  Once again, over and over, He speaks His Word of forgiveness to you.  Once again, He takes a flawed disciple and bread is broken, and it is given to you – take and eat, this is My Body, given for you, take and drink, this is My Blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.  Without fail, the forgiveness and mercy and life that Christ Jesus won for you upon the Cross is given to you here in this place.

          Why?  Because you are the Baptized.  Because in your Baptism, you were joined to Christ Jesus – that was the Epistle last week – you have been baptized into Christ Jesus.  And what precisely does that mean?  In terms of our Gospel lesson – “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days.”  That’s you – you’ve been with Jesus, baptized into His death, and of course joined with a resurrection like His.  He cannot but have compassion upon you, for He loves you as He loves Himself.  And He knows your limitations, knows the war that sin wages upon you, He knows how sin plays upon you and messes with you – but over and over again He comes to you here in this place and says to you that you are no longer, in fact, a slave to sin, but you are bound to Him, that you are a slave to righteousness, that you are forgiven.  Your baptism, the forgiveness of your sins, that you are bound to Christ, a slave to righteousness and now sanctified and given eternal life – these are the realities that Christ sees and remembers at all times – and so, when we are worn and weak and weary, He will give them to us again – He will preach them again, He will place forgiveness upon our lips by giving us His own Body and Blood again and again and again.  Because He has compassion upon you; because you are His and He will not let you go on your way faint from sin, but always, always forgiven.

          “And He sent them away.”  Off they went – back to their lives, but having been cared for by Christ, and indeed, still under His continual care.  Likewise, you will be sent from here – depart in peace, the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.  Sent back to your life out there, your homes, your jobs, your family, maybe sent on vacation. Sent back to face the same difficulties and struggles – but sent in peace, as God’s own baptized children, washed and forgiven.  Sent, but ready to be welcomed here again next week, to be fed and forgiven again.  Because Christ Jesus never becomes bored of forgiving you – it is His delight and joy and purpose of the Church.  God be with you all this week, and God see you safely here again next when God will feed you through Seminarian Fischaber.  In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit +