Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review: You and Me Forever (Marriage in Light of Eternity)

As far as I can tell, Paul (the apostle) liked to be right. Luther and Calvin, may they rest in peace, both liked to be right. Yet none of those three ever wrote anything like this:
“I told you! I told you it would be worth it!!! This is unbelievable!!!!!!!!” I imagine shouting that one day when I see Lisa and the kids in heaven. They will no longer be my wife and kids, but we will love each other more than ever. I picture myself looking them in the eyes and saying, “I told you He would come through! I knew He would be true to His promises. I knew every sacrifice would be worth it. This is insane! He is amazing!!!” (p. 131)
If, at the start of the world to come, someone greets me by gripping me tightly and saying, “I told you so”- I will know without a doubt, no matter the scenery, that I am in hell. Unless the voice is coming from Jesus, in which case I will fall on my knees and say, “I believed, Lord, forgive my unbelief.”

Be that as it may, Francis Chan’s You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity was not exactly hell to read, but it was not a glimpse of heaven, either. In this book, the Bible is to be taken literally. Marriage is an institution created by God and it is hetero-normative, period. Both partners exist within their commitment to one another to be certain that each will experience heaven (that is NOT a metaphor). The mission of their marriage is discipleship, a pure witness to the work of fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28). Men lead, through submission to God. Women follow, through submission to God. The practical advice of the book consists of guides for both individual and mutual conversation, study, and prayer.

How many times did I want to throw this book against the wall? Many. However, I more frequently found myself despairing. Chan and I, theoretically want the same thing. First, that the world may come to know and trust in the grace, mercy, and faithfulness of God as those truths were revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Second, that marriage would be understood to be a loving partnership for faithful growth and support- a sacramental gift from God that is the foundation of hope, stability, sanctification, and peace in communities. Our ability to agree on even these two sentences can only occur in a sterile environment because once we hit the ground, we are at odds which is lamentable to God (as far as I understand 1 Corinthians).

Chan writes:
Things are different nowadays. Sin is more accessible and acceptable. Two specific areas come to mind, both deadly to marriage: pornography and flirting.When I was a kid, a guy had to let everyone in the store know he was a pervert when he walked to the counter to buy a Playboy magazine. These days, people can look endlessly at pornography on the privacy of their own phones. And many don’t even consider that perverted. It’s the norm!When I was a kid, a woman would have to flirt with a man face to face, in a normal social setting. Once again, there was the shame of people seeing it and labeling her a “whore” or “slut”. Now with Facebook and text messaging, women and men can approach each other in secret to test the waters. And the affairs that spring from it, as well as the divorces that result from it, have become more acceptable. Even in the church. (26)
When I read the Bible, it seems to me that sin was fairly accessible to our forefathers and foremothers in the faith. None of them seemed to struggle with finding ways to violate God’s covenants and laws. If God is the same- yesterday, today, and forever, then, sadly, the forces that oppose God are the same. They may have shiny new ways to tempt, but they are no more powerful than they ever were or ever will be. Arguing that humans are more sinful or that evil is more prevalent denies the reality of history and the reality of God’s relationship to creation in history.

Furthermore, all sin (sexual and otherwise) is a result of failing to acknowledge that God alone is God (here Chan and I would agree). Thus, breaking the first commandment (I am the Lord your God, have no other gods before me) happens when we objectify and deify anything- bodies, natural resources, money, work, power, control. The examples Chan gives do not go deep enough to the reality of sin, a felt separation from God in the world. They are superficial, shaming examples with no followed-up basis for repair or correction. The failure of the church in this situation is not a failure to preach strongly enough against pornography, adultery, or divorce. It is a failure to lift up the reality that ALL is a gift from God- our bodies, the bodies of others, our sexuality, natural resources, other animals, money, time, talents. Failure to respect and honor God’s glory revealed in all of these is a perversion of God’s desires. Period. There is no hierarchy in sin.

According to Chan, many churches lack faithful elders who can teach the faith and the faith lived out in long marriages.
In speaking to young adults in America, they tell me of how they would love to be mentored by older people who are living by faith. But they can’t find any. Some may be joyful and friendly, but no longer living by faith. Sadly, their lives consist of visiting grandkids and taking vacations. Some are still acquiring more possessions, hoping to make the best of their last few days on earth. (185)
I recently did two back-to-back funerals. One for a man, aged 93, who had been married to the same woman for 68 years. He had been a stalwart member of three congregations, quietly revealing his faith in service and perseverance. The second service was for a pastor who died just short of 70 years of ordination. His funeral was standing room only. His wife of 63 years sat just to the side of his casket. Until just before he died, he could tell you what psalm he wanted to hear for the day and why. There are many older people who live by faith, but maybe not in the churches Chan visits. Has he encouraged these seeking young people to find faithful elders in the churches where they might be (mainline denominations) or do they lament together with no action, but prayer?

All in all, this book was disappointing. Other reviews praise it, but they seem to be people who knew what they would hear when they read the book. That’s called preaching to the choir. The literal Biblical interpretation, the frank substitutionary atonement (as the only understanding), and the failure to acknowledge the mixed history of marriage as an institution and the church’s need to grapple with that fact all combine to prevent me from recommending this book to anyone.

You need to know that this theology is out there and that your parishioners will encounter it. Since I can’t recommend this book and I don’t have a ready-made suggestion to go in its place, I’ll make an alternate recommendation.

I suggest that instead of reading this book, you re-read the book of Ruth and consider the following 1) that God took generations to bring healing out of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, 2) the most famous words of commitment in the Bible are between a daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law, 3) marriage is a wholly different scenario in the Scriptures, and 4) we are all called to emulate the righteousness of Boaz by using our time, resources, and faith in redeeming those who would be left on the margins.

I received You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity (Francis and Lisa Chan) for review. I was not offered anything in exchange for the review other than a copy of the book.

This review was first published for RevGalBlogPals: http://revgalblogpals.org/2015/01/26/revgalbookpals-you-and-me-forever-marriage-in-light-of-eternity/

Reflections on the Beatitudes

If I could ask Jesus a question or two about Matthew 5, my first question would be this: What do you mean “blessed are”? Does it mean that mourning is a blessed state that is to be pursued? Does it mean that we find a sense of blessing or a tangible blessing when mourning happens in our lives, but we don’t need to seek it out? Is mourning a basic reality of a faithful life and so we will receive the blessings that inherent in that life, through mourning and these other realities?

This passage seems confusing to most of us. It seems like a good one to hear on All Saints’ Day or at a funeral, when we can attribute the blessings to those faithful who have died and now rest in light. They have inherited and surely now they are blessed. As for the rest of us, we just muddle about as best we can.

How, then, do we sort out the bits about salt and light? Or that part about the law?

When Matthew, the author of this gospel, wrote, he was organizing the teachings and works of Jesus for a Christian community of Jews and Gentiles, people gathered in hope for the kingdom of God at hand. Matthew knows that the spread of the gospel, the very reality of God’s relationship with creation, depends in large part on this early community understanding what is at stake for them in following Christ.

They cannot take for granted that it will be easy or that they will not suffer. The struggle itself is not what brings blessing. There is an inherent state of blessedness, of inner joy and peace, that comes from knowing that the kingdom is at hand and that God has chosen to use you as part of how it comes about. Participating in God’s work- seasoning a community with faithful, loving action that points to the Light that does not fail gives shape to discipleship.

This cannot be achieved through personal, private inward religious or spiritual thought. It is a truth born out in sweat, tears, blood, water, and wine. For the early Christians, it was only when they gave themselves fully and knew that God fully using all that they had… it was then that they perceived the truth of this great sermon that there is blessing enough in being a child of God and knowing that alone is constant and unfailing.

It is the same for Christians today.             

Be Blessed

God has brought us too far to leave us now.

The Lord is with us in times of trouble,
God has brought us too far to leave us now.

The Lord is with us in our hunger for mercy and our pursuit of justice,
God has brought us too far to leave us now.

The Lord is with us in time of humility and humbling.
God has brought us too far to leave us now.

The Lord is with us in the depth of righteous anger.
God has brought us too far to leave us now.

The Lord is with us in the height of peacemaking and reconciliation.
God has brought us too far to leave us now.

We are the salt God uses to season creation and the lamps through which God’s own light shines.

God has brought us too far to leave us now.

Selma and Excuses

When rejecting an invitation, according to Amy Sedaris, one simply says, “I can’t come.” You don’t add a reason. “Anything after ‘because’ is bullshit,” according to Sedaris. That’s what I think of when I see the dearth of nominations for Selma in the Oscars. There weren’t more because the movie didn’t play the game, send out screeners, open earlier, deal with political backlash well. Frankly, my dear, anything after because is bullshit.

I have already seen Selma twice and I’m trying to figure out when I will see it at least a third and maybe a fourth time. I am not much of a moviegoer. I think I saw three movies last year. Selma, though, is a big screen phenomenon. There is a nuance in the faces, in the looks, in the gritted teeth and the beads of sweat that will be missed on a small screen. Furthermore, there is a public sensitivity to the directing that is palpable when one is sitting in proximity to other bodies, hearing the gasps, sighs, cheers, and tears.

David Oyelowo is as powerful an actor as I have ever seen. The movie was not permitted, for various reasons, to use any of the actual speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The script, then, had to be written for the power, syntax, and deliver of one of the greatest preachers in American history. Oyelowo delivers like the prophet Dr. King was. In the scene where Coretta Scott King, played by Carmen Ejogo, confronts him about infidelity, one thousand emotions play across his face, before any words are spoken. I haven’t seen all most of the “Best Actor” nominees, but I am not really open to hearing why Oyelowo wasn’t chosen. Anything after “because” is bullshit.

There has been quite the furor over the portrayal of President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the movie. Those concerned with his legacy argue that the movie portrays him as obstructionist to the voting rights of blacks in a way that is unfair to his true feelings and his true actions. LBJ was the consummate politician of our time. Generally known as an SOB and someone who made deals to get things done, he comes across as profoundly true to character in the film.

While it is certainly true that LBJ was a powerful force in advancing the paperwork and legality of civil rights in this country, it is also true that he did not do all the legwork or showing up that was possible. So the movie didn’t make LBJ into the savior figure that some want him to be. Too bad. There are plenty of other films of historical figures that aren’t letter perfect to character, motivation, and/or action. Should we destroy them all? I just want a one-word answer, since anything after “because” is bullshit.

The reality of Selma that sticks in my head is how King and others grapple with the reality that the response to the non-violent protests means some people will likely be killed. Each of the leaders is weighing in the balance the lives of those who will come, who will march, who will be beaten, with the denied full civil and human rights of an entire group of people. Children, elders, and bright young adults will be slaughtered out of sheer hatred, malice, and fear. The film has some footage of the actual Selma to Montgomery march, in which you see not only the marchers, but white people standing along the sides of the roads- flipping middle fingers, spitting, showing the Confederate flag, screaming. As those faces go by, I can’t help but think, “For shame. There is no explanation. Anything after ‘because’ is bullshit.”

There is something about Selma- about seeing innocent black bodies, beaten and broken in the street. There is something about knowing that the denial of the vote to many people is still ongoing. There is something about seeing the terrorist act of bombing a church and killing four little girls and knowing that no one paid for that crime until years later. There is something about seeing an all-white slate of best actor and actress nominees. There is something about denying the recognition of even a Best Director nomination to Ava DuVernay.

These things say that we are not yet post-racial. We are not yet to a place of equality for all Americans. We have not reached the mountaintop. We are still working to overcome.

There is a scene in Selma when Dr. King is confronting John Lewis and James Forman, the sons of thunder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He tells them that SNCC is concerned with “raising black consciousness”, but the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is concerned with “raising white consciousness”. This work is not done as long as any body of any color can be and is denied both the actual and the implied rights that are inherent to all American citizens. Until that day, we must stay awake, keep our consciousness elevated, and keep our feet marching forward in work of praying with our votes, our dollars, our letters, our sermons, our prayers, our neighbor love, and our rejection of the false idols of Oscar recognition.

To those who say “no” to this call, we know what you are. No qualifiers, explanations, or caveats are needed. Anything after “because” is bullshit.

Originally published on RevGalBlogPals: http://revgalblogpals.org/2015/01/19/monday-extra-selma-and-excuses/

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Inspiration of the Living Word (Sermon)

2nd Sunday in Christmas

Sirach 24:1-12; Wisdom 10:15-21; Ephesians 1:2-14; John 1:1-18

            Today we had readings from the books of Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon. Most of you probably don’t have those books in your Bible. (Yes/no?) These two books, along with Judith, Tobit, I and II Macabees, Baruch, and Esther, make up the seven extra books that appear in the bibles of the Roman Catholic Church, but not usually in Protestant bibles.
If they appear in your Bible, and you don’t have a “Catholic” bible, they will appear in a section called the “Apocrypha”.

            These seven books were written in a four-hundred year space that is otherwise unaccounted for through the history of the Hebrew Scriptures and the start of the New Testament books. They were originally written in Greek and not in Hebrew. At least one council of Jewish leaders rejected these books for the canon , or collection, of the Hebrew Scriptures.

            Some later Christian Councils debated keeping them in the canon- with some saying yes and some, no. For our purposes, Luther rejected them as since they were not written in Hebrew, noting they were useful reading, but weren’t at the same level as sacred scripture. When Luther set them aside in this manner, it raised a debate forever as to whether these texts should or should not be included in Bibles- collections of sacred texts.

            Furthermore, there is much heat as to whether these books can be considered “inspired” if they are not part of the sacred canon. Can God inspire words and work that are not part of the printed and bounded bible? (I should say so, otherwise Martin Luther’s whole career is somewhat questionable.)

            By reading from these texts, just like singing hymns or offering prayers written by ourselves or spoken extemporaneously, we are acknowledging God’s ongoing work in the world. We are saying that God is not done, that God is still speaking, that God’s work continues. When we look to poetry or painting, wood carving or theater, quilting or knitting, we see that God’s majesty and might did not have an expiration date. God’s revelatory power was not limited to one place, one language, or one group of people.

            We are still in the Christmas season, wherein the heart of the message is God’s self-revelation through flesh and blood, Jesus as Emmanuel- God with us. As a baby- a real, live, crying, eliminating, eating, baby- Jesus shows us God’s tendency to be revealed in the usual, the simple, the regular, the ordinary, the normal and thereby transform these things into new realities.

            The upshot of today’s sermon is not that we should include the seven deutero-canonical books in Protestant bibles. It is that the arguments that “because they are not in there, they do not count as ‘inspired’” are ridiculous. If we are to learn anything in this season of shepherds, young unmarried mothers, confused, but earnest fathers, magi, angels, and innkeepers, it has to be that there is not a limit to God’s ability to inspire, to use, to shape, and to create. The human failure to understand this is not a failure of orthodoxy, it is a failure of faithful imagination- rooted in the truth of grace and forgiveness.

            We live in a world that shames people who struggle with their identities, with self-understanding, with rejection, and with trusting in the reality of God’s expansiveness. Understanding God’s inspiration to be broader that we’ve ever imagined, broader than the Church has allowed, broader than we dare to hope- is the gift of Christmas that is for all people. It is the Christmas message that we are to carry.

            Both of today’s readings were about wisdom- as a part of God and as a gift of God. In more than one place in the Bible, including in Proverbs and Job, it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” What does the fear of the Lord look like? I believe it begins with an unwillingness to limit God, a refusal to box God in or nail him down.

            Thus we turn, like John the baptizer or the writer of Ephesians, and proclaim the lavishness of grace, the incredibility of the Word made flesh, and the glory of God we understand to have been revealed through Jesus. And then we swallow deeply- in grief or joy or worry or hope- and say, “And God is not done yet.”

Merry Christmas.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Prayer in the Aftermath of Pakistan School Shooting

God of all people, you made all things, you know all things, you are present in all times and places. 
We grieve with your Spirit over the deaths of children and innocent adults in Pakistan. 
We mourn the loss of life due to religious violence throughout the world. 
We long for a day of justice, of peace, of true rest. 

The prophet Amos warns us to be careful when calling for the day of the Lord, for it will not be what we expect. We are careful with our words. We are cautious with our prayers. 

We wholeheartedly ask for comfort for the families of the slain. 
We pray for those who will move the bodies of the slaughtered innocent. 
We ask for Your intervention on those who see this action and who have contemplated acting similarly in the past or in the future. 

We commend to you the souls of the departed for they are children of your creation and chicks to be gathered under your wings. 


Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Beginning of the Good News

Mark 1:1-8
            Where’s Mark’s joke? Or poem? Or news story? The author of this gospel doesn’t ease the reader into the text. BOOM, it starts. “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ…” We don’t get an angel, shepherds, a dream, or even a longer description of the prophet, John the Baptizer. Instead, we are plucked right into the story.

            We know that Mark is the earliest written gospel that we have. We are talking about a story that existed in a similar written form to what we have in our hands, in our homes, in every hotel room, in our own language- a story marked just under two thousand years ago. Why doesn’t this gospel have the birth narrative or any of the larger details from Matthew or Luke? Why isn’t there a longer, more poetic entry like in John?

            Interestingly, Mark’s gospel originally ended very abruptly as well. What we consider the last chapter of the story had only 8 verses. It reads: When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

            That’s a fairly abrupt conclusion to the story. Of course, something happened beyond that because the story squeaked out somehow. So imagine people noticing early Christians, early followers of the way. These would have been people dedicated to their community, perceiving some equality among different classes, castes, and races, dedicated to healing, sharing, and showing mercy. Their lives were different enough that they gained attention.

            “Why do you do this?” someone might have asked one of the disciples in the temple court. “Tell me about your group,” one woman might have urged another in the marketplace. “Speak to me about this Jesus,” one slave might have whispered to another one the way to the river.

            Most people begin a story with the most exciting part, the part that is the most incredulous. In the case of Jesus, that would be resurrection, right? After all, his teaching about righteousness and justice echoed the prophets in words that were already familiar, if not followed. His healings were miraculous, but there were other healers. Rising from the dead, people seeing angels and not dying, reports that he had appeared, in resurrected form,- this was the big news.

            So, the followers of Christ would likely share this part of the story, but you can imagine people who were skeptical, suspicious, or curious saying, “But who was he? How do you know he was different? Where did this all start?”

            So, they would go back- not to the miraculous birth story, which was a standard starting place, but to the spot where Jesus’ story diverged from the other prophets in history. From Elijah and John, from Moses and Amos, the story begins abruptly with the “beginning of the good news”- the quick entry into what makes Jesus different.

            We do not actually live in a time in which people are fundamentally different from when this gospel was written. People still think of the end of the story first- heaven, resurrection, reunion, future. Yet, the heart of the gospel, its immediacy, is not in what it can offer tomorrow or at the end of time as we know it. The good news of Jesus Christ has a beginning… it has already begun. If it has already begun, then it has a direct impact on the world today.

            The basic reality of what it means to be people of God, people who perceive the good news of Jesus Christ, is that we are carrying that message into the world. What does that mean in the plainest English possible? This a book written for people facing oppression, economic hardship, and religious division. They needed hope in the promise of God’s future actions and help in seeing the present effects of that promise.
People today need to hear, to see, to taste, to touch, to feel, to be welcomed by, to be told, to be whispered to, to read, to sing, to smell, to perceive in all kinds of ways that we who are children of God do not believe we are waiting in vain.

We may not be entirely sure what happens next. That’s okay.

We may not be fully clear on how to explain all the ins and outs of doctrines and church hierarchy. More power to us.

We definitely don’t know what God’s timeline for Christ’s return is. Can’t do anything about that.

We can, however, speak a word of truth in a time of dishonesty. We must point to God’s preference for the poor, the outcast, the rejected, the disheartened, the oppressed, and the neglected. We have to speak to the realities of injustice, racism, classism, constant warfare, and the valuing of things and power over the gifts of creation.

These are not ambiguous ideas. They are not too big to grasp. Each of you, at this very moment, has a scene, a story, a news clip, a bit in your mind that you have turned over and over. A thing that you have wondered if you should do something about. Is it your place to comment? Will someone else do it, if you don’t? If you wait long enough?

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ… It’s not an actual sentence because it has no verb, no action word. The action is in you. The telling of the story, the living out of its implication, the slowly growing faith that the life of Christ is not about tomorrow, but about today. The action, the movement, the cycle of the story- beginning and end- are in you, through the Holy Spirit. 

Frankly, it is an abrupt beginning for us all- starting when we are splashed or soaked by our baptisms and then brought into a family that is supposed to walk with us on the same path. We go out and we come in to this place. We struggle. We wrestle. We wonder. Yet, we are never let go from the task of telling the story, of living its call, of trying to shape the world according to the truth of God revealed in Jesus.

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ happens again and again and again. As much as you hear it, you should tell it. As much as you tell it, you should live it. As much as you live it, people will be drawn to it. As people are drawn, the world shifts. This is what it means to be Advent people, to believe that the promised return has present implications. We don’t need the birth narrative. Mark didn’t.

We simply must, and we can, embrace the sudden truth of God among us- the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ- as the start of the story that changes us and changes the world.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent Confession

There is no one who calls on your [God's] name or attempts to take hold of you, for you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. (Isaiah 64:7)

Holy God, in times gone by you have created, planted, and nurtured. 
From the beginning of time, You are a restorer- merciful and gracious.
Yet your people have turned from you.
I have turned from you.

I have sought the comfort of my own knowledge, 
The security of my own skill,
The surety of what I can prove.

I have made the tangible my god 
And imprinted with my vanity. 

And You, Dance Partner of my soul, have allowed me to consume the fruits of the labor.

They do not satisfy.

I have sinned against you and with the same mouth I speak Advent hope.

Forgive me, O my Maker.

Recast me, Spirit of wholeness. 

Redeem my life and restore my worth for you kingdom. 

Hear my Advent prayer.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Church New Year's Eve Resolutions

Tomorrow will be the first day of a new church year- the first Sunday in Advent.

I usually think of Christ the King Sunday as the "eve", but technically... here I sit on a Saturday night at the true eve of the church year.

Yes, yes, the calendar is arbitrary, etc, etc. Nevertheless, here we are.

In Judaism, the Days of Awe- Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the days in between- mark a new year, a time of atonement, and a sense of focused worship both as a course corrective for one's relationship with the Creator and as preparation for the living of another year.

In Christianity, we often experience the course corrective during Lent. Once upon a time, Advent was a companion season to Lent- a shorter time of reflection, penitence, and metanoia before a festival (Christmas).

The season of waiting has lost some of that flavor, but it doesn't have to. We can still take these few weeks- four Sundays and a handful of weekdays- and reorient ourselves in our relationship with God, with an awareness of the Spirit at work, and in anticipation of the coming of Christ, for we do not know that hour.

Now is a good time to make some spiritual resolutions. Tell a friend or find a partner for accountability in your resolve. Find the work you need to do to keep awake, alert, and prepared for God and God's reign. The time is at hand.

We always find ourselves on that Eve.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Building on a Prayer

Our God in heaven,
Holy parent of all black, brown, olive, tan, and peach children,

Holy is your name.
It is for praise and glory, not to be used lightly.

Your kingdom come,
We dare to ask for the day of justice

Your will be done,
We dare to ask to be used for your purposes

On earth as in heaven,
May it be so, Lord.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And stop our hands from taking more than our share

Forgive us our sins,
For they are legion

As we forgive those who sin against us,
For they are legion

Lead us not into temptation,
For we are prone to anger, to frustration, to laziness, to despair,

But deliver us from evil,
From the forces that oppose you- wherever they exist

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory-
You alone are God. Everything is yours.



Excerpted from a post (by me) at RevGalBlogPals