THE PRAYERS, 5th Sunday after Epiphany, Proper 5, Cycle A (February 9, 2020)


5th Sunday after Epiphany, Proper 5, Cycle A (February 9, 2020)


Let us pray that the light of Christ may shine upon the Church, the world, and all people according to their need.

A brief silence


Heavenly Father, your Word is challenge, command, and marching orders for us. How often we stumble, fall short, or go AWOL in fulfilling it! Justice, generosity, holiness, mercy – we break your Word, your heart, and the hearts of people most in need of those good things. Thank you for Jesus, who fulfilled your Word among us, and who IS your Word. Thank you for setting his unquenchable light and holiness, mercy and obedience within our hearts. For his sake, make us like him: salt and light, hope and holiness, so others may turn to him and live.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Grant that the Church should constantly preach Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sin unto everlasting life. Keep it from being conformed to the desires and whims of the world.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Bless the people and ministries of this congregation. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, so everything we say and do glorifies you and helps our neighbor, especially the poor, lonely, hurting, and distressed people in our community.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Father, being a disciple means being a student of Jesus. Give us teachable hearts and minds! Lead your “apprentices” in paths of personal devotion and holiness. Form them into “journeymen” who walk with those whose path is hard and lonely, and who bring hope, encouragement, and your dear Son’s love to those who need it most.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We remember before you our persecuted sisters and brothers. Make them into lamps shining in dark places. Bring them justice and deliverance. Soften the hearts of their enemies so they may turn to you and live.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Cause the rulers of all nations, especially our own, to heed the words of the prophet: to do justice tempered with mercy, and to care for the poor. We pray that they – and we! – not only refrain from evil, but actively pursue righteousness, and strive to live in peace.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Bring healing and hope, justice and mercy to everyone burdened by sin, sorrow, and suffering. Especially we lift before you the needs of: {List}. Shine the light of Christ upon them, and upon all who care for them.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, we entrust into your care all our beloved dead, especially those who were salt and light in our lives. Keep us also in your care throughout our earthly pilgrimage. Kindle your kindly Spirit within us, so that we constantly encourage and help one another along life’s way. And for the sake of your beloved Son, who gave himself for us, bring us into your eternal Kingdom, where with all whom he had redeemed, we may gaze upon his face and adore you for your goodness forever.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

All these things, and whatever else you see that we need, grant to us, dear Father, for the sake of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Devotion for Wednesday, January 15, 2020

“But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she
has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to
spare you.  But this I say, brethren, the
time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as
though they had none;” (1 Corinthians 7:28-29)

Looking at life and its meaning, our view is often of the day and the circumstance. Paul is calling for us to look at the age and its reality. Recognize that each path will carry with it burdens and these should not be taken on lightly.  Walk therefor with intentionality and seek to see things from the perspective of eternity.

Lord open my eyes to see beyond the immediate.  I am in this moment and I should not leave
it, but help me to live in this moment knowing what You have promised and how
things shall be after this age.  Holding
these two things together, teach me how to walk in the way of salvation.  Guide me to make choices that will enable me
to walk boldly in faith.  Teach me

Come Holy Spirit and amidst the
confusion of this age show me a clear path that You would have me walk.  Guide me moment by moment and teach me about
the eternal perspective.  Let my heart be
free in You, but guarded from the wiles of this world.  In all things, teach me to live wholly in the
grace I have been given knowing that all things are in Your hands.  Lead me always!  Amen.

January 2020 Newsletter

New Year Reflections on Our Future as a Church

There are at least two significant and alarming trends confronting American church bodies in general, and mainline Protestants in particular.

One is the developing clergy supply crisis, and the second is the aging and upcoming precipitous decline of most of our congregations.

Both of these trends are related, to some degree, to the generational issue of aging Boomers. The single most eye-opening statistic—reported on repeatedly by PEW Research—is that less than half as many Millennials are attending church than was the case for their Boomer parents back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. I still remember a particular cover story of Time Magazine back in 1993. It was the April 5th issue. (I just Googled it.) The quote on the cover of that issue was “The Baby Boom Goes Back to Church.” Needless to say, there has been no story, in the last decade, reporting a similar trend among Millennials.

Of course the decline of mainline Protestant churches is also due, in large part, to the on-going and accelerating secularization of American culture. And that reality is taking a toll on all national church bodies. But the more generational realities of our future are not simply about an inflated view of my own generation’s importance. This is about demographic realities helping us to see and clarify the urgency of what is before us as the Body of Christ. And to put it bluntly, the reason why the clergy supply crisis will be upon us sooner than the dramatic, precipitous decline in overall church membership is this: Most Boomers will, like me, have the good fortune to be retiring before they make the transition to assisted living and/or death.

Clergy Supply Crisis

What’s going on in the ELCA gives us a convenient window into what the LCMC and NALC will be facing. As I shared in previous articles, the ELCA is facing a major crisis with both clergy supply and their projected membership decline in the very near future. And aggravating these largely demographic realities is the rapid secularization of ELCA organizational culture. The ELCA’s Department of Research and Evaluation projects —based on the aging of their membership and the decline in baptisms — that by 2041 there will be less than 16,000 members worshiping — nationally —on a typical Sunday! That compares to 864,000 worshiping as of the end of 2018. And the issue of clergy supply for the ELCA? That crisis has already arrived. As of June of 2019 there were 2,776 empty pulpits out of a total of approximately 9,000 congregations.

Two Strategies

With Lutheran CORE’s Congregations in Transition (CiT) ministry we are focused on both a short-term and long-term strategy to help LCMC, NALC and orthodox ELCA congregations address both of these daunting challenges. And let’s not deceive ourselves. Our commitment—as orthodox clergy and congregations—to a Scripture-focused and more evangelistic worldview does not make us immune to the challenges the ELCA is facing. Somewhat more insulated perhaps, but not immune.

1st Century Model for Ministry

The CiT approach to congregational ministry is, overall, the empowerment of the laity. First, because it is the biblical, 1st century model for ministry and outreach; and second, because an unhealthy dependence on the availability of ordained, full-time clergy will not even be a future option for many of our congregations.

Our mission, with CiT, is inspired by texts like 1st Peter, chapter two, verses 4-5. Writing to the laity of his generation, Peter declares:

…You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Gifted Transition Teams

The three congregations (all LCMC) I am currently coaching are all facing the retirement of their only pastor. While each of these rural/small-town churches are just large enough to still afford a future full-time pastor, they are all rapidly aging worship communities who are very aware of their significant membership decline over the last twenty years. But here’s the good news: Their three transition teams are comprised of incredibly gifted and committed lay leaders. And these lay leaders are very invested in the current and future ministries of their congregations. My role is to insure that these members (of the priesthood we all share in Christ Jesus) will be motivated to step forward and lead their congregations even if the search for their next pastor takes longer than anticipated.

I had many short-comings in my 40 years of ministry as a parish pastor. However, being a gatekeeper was not one of them. In fact my greatest joy in ministry was enlisting, equipping and motivating members to use their God-given gifts and abilities to serve their congregations and surrounding communities. This is now, more than ever, the best hope for the Body of Christ: to facilitate the ministry of the laity in the face of significant challenges faced by today’s church. This will require both faith and creativity on our part. But let us never underestimate what God can accomplish, despite any and all obstacles, through the incredible gifts of our (non-ordained) brothers and sisters in Christ.

Reflections on the Augsburg Confession – Part 2

Pr. David Charlton

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word
by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to
wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell
John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight,
the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and
the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is
anyone who takes no offense at me.”
(Matthew 11:2-6 NRSV)

There goes the Son …

Evangelical Lutheran Worship

These days, there are many who are offended by the God revealed in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Scriptures.  The primary offense is caused by the name Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Others take offense at the masculine pronouns that the Bible uses for God.  As a result, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in its hymnal Evangelical Lutheran Worship, worked diligently to reduce the use of masculine pronouns to refer to God. This was particularly true in the translation of the Psalms. In addition, they provided an alternate invocation for the beginning of the liturgy that enabled congregations to avoid saying Father and Son.  Many of the Prayers of the Day and all of the Proper Prefaces, were changed so that prayer was addressed to God in general rather than to the Father.  Over the years, Sundays and Seasons, the electronic worship resource from Augsburg Fortress, has offered a variety of alternatives for those who are so offended. Finally, at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly, a social statement was passed calling for an even greater use of “gender-inclusive and expansive language for God.”

The Trinity

The Augsburg Confession, on the other hand, affirms the doctrine of the Trinity in the strongest terms, saying:

unanimously hold and teach, in accordance with the decree of the Council of
Nicaea,’ that there is one divine essence, which is called and which is truly
God, and that there are three persons in this one divine essence, equal in
power and alike eternal: God the Father,
God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
[1][emphasis mine]

What’s at Stake?

So what is
at stake?  Is this just quibbling over
words?  Are we as Lutherans bound to the
language used in the Augsburg Confession? 
Will it really make a difference if we use expansive language for God?

The answer
is, “Yes!”  What was at stake at the
Council of Nicaea was far more than a quibble over words.  The Council was not engaged in an esoteric
debate about a doctrine that few lay people would ever understand.  What was at stake was the Incarnation
itself.  Is the Son divine, or only the
Father?  Was God truly incarnate in Jesus
of Nazareth, or did it only appear to be the case?  It was the position of the orthodox that the
Gospel and salvation itself were on the line. 
Rejection of the Incarnation was a rejection of the Gospel. The Lutheran
reformers would have agreed. 

The Gospel

Why is the Gospel at stake?  To explain this, let me introduce a couple of terms with which you may not be familiar.  The terms are general revelation and particular revelation.[2]  General revelation refers to the knowledge of God that is available to all people.  Romans 1:20 says:

Ever since the creation of the world his eternal
power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and
seen through the things he has made. (NRSV)

Some knowledge of God is available to all people.  For instance, through the use of reason we can come to know that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.  If we look at nature, at the beauty and precision that it contains, we can catch a glimpse of the Creator.  If we pay attention to the moral law that is written in our hearts, we know that God is holy and righteous.  Some of us have even felt God’s presence in our lives.  Reason, nature, the moral law, and our feelings can give us some idea of what God is like.

What none of them can do, however, is enable us to know that God is a gracious God.  Knowing that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent doesn’t tell me whether God cares about me.  What nature reveals about God is too ambiguous to tell me whether he is good.  For every beautiful sunset, perfect snowflake and cuddly puppy, there is a hurricane, earthquake or an incurable disease.  The moral law tells me that God is holy, but it doesn’t tell me whether God is merciful to sinners like me.  My feelings about God are ambiguous as well.  One minute I may have a sense of God’s love and peace, but another moment I feel abandoned or condemned by God.  General revelation can take us no further.  Luther says:

answer that there are two ways of knowing God. One is general, the other
particular. Everyone has a general knowledge—that is, that there is a God that
created heaven and earth, that He is righteous, and that He punishes the
wicked. However, regarding what God thinks about us (His will toward us), what
He will give or do to deliver us from sin and death, and how to be saved (for
certain, this is the true knowledge of God), they don’t know any of this. In
the same way, I may know someone by sight but not thoroughly because I don’t
fully understand that person’s feelings toward me; that is how people by nature
know there is a God. But what is His will and what is not His will, they have
no idea![3]

The God We Meet in Jesus Christ

revelation, on the other hand, which refers to God incarnate, Jesus Christ,
does.  When we encounter God in the baby
in the manger and the man on the Cross, then we do know that we have a gracious
God.  It is the God we meet in Jesus Christ
who enables us to have faith, to trust that we are loved and forgiven.  Again, Luther says:

is the only means, and as you might say, the mirror in which we can see God and
by whom we can also know His will, for in Christ, we see that God is no cruel
and demanding judge but a Father of extremely goodwill, loving and merciful. In
order to bless us—that is, to deliver us from the law, sin, death, all evil,
and to grant us grace, righteousness, and eternal life—He “did not spare his
own Son, but gave him up for us all.” This is the true knowledge of God, the
divine persuasion that does not deceive us but paints us a trustworthy picture
of God, other than this there is no God.[4]

Offended by the Incarnation

This is
why traditional Lutherans are alarmed by the call for more “gender-inclusive
and expansive language for God.”  It is
not because we oppose inclusive language in general, as is often alleged, or
that we want to subordinate women to men. 
Something more is at stake.  When
we are offended by the very words that Jesus used to name God, when we are
offended by his masculinity, as in the past some were offended by his
Jewishness, when we are offended by the claim that Jesus is the way, the truth
and the life, we are offended by the Incarnation itself.  In that case, we are offended by the only
thing that makes it possible for us to know and trust that we have a gracious
God.  The Gospel, justification by faith,
and salvation itself, are at stake.  Instead
of being offended, we give thanks, as we do in the proper preface for

In the wonder and mystery of the Word made flesh you have opened the eyes of faith to a new and radiant vision of your glory: that beholding the God made visible, we may be drawn to love the God whom we cannot see.[5]

[1] Theodore G. Tappert. Augsburg
Confession (Kindle Locations 58-59). Kindle Edition.  

[2] Luther,
Martin. Martin Luther’s Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians
(1535): Lecture Notes Transcribed by Students and Presented in Today’s English
(p. 350). 1517 Publishing. Kindle Edition.

[3] Ibid., p. 350.

[4] Ibid., pp. 346-347.

Lutheran Book of Worship: Ministers Desk Edition.  1978 Augsburg Fortress, p. 209.

Thanks Be to God! Memoirs of a Practical Theologian by Robert Benne

was thoroughly blessed through reading the recently published memoirs of Dr.
Robert Benne.  Many thanks to Dr. Benne
for writing them and to the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau for publishing
them.  Reading Dr. Benne’s memoirs
reminded me of when I saw the 1989 movie, “Born on the Fourth of July.”  While watching that movie, and while reading
Dr. Benne’s memoirs, I felt like I was reliving several of the years of my own

was born ten years after Dr. Benne, but like him I grew up in a culture that
supported and encouraged the Christian faith. 
He grew up in a small town in Nebraska. 
I was born in Minneapolis and spent some of the formative years of my
life in a small town in Iowa.  At that time
the world was trustworthy and safe, America was great and good, and right and
wrong were clearly defined (page 77). 
Bob Benne met his first black persons in college.  I had my first Asian friend in seminary. 

experienced and was dramatically changed by the same social and cultural
dynamics that strongly affected him, though at an age of ten years
younger.  We were both influenced by the
liberal idealism of the early 60’s.  Like
him, I came to view the church mainly as an instrument of social transformation
(page 83).  I identified with his
self-description, “I tried to swim with the radical tide” (page 88).  I was amused by his comment, “I became a
‘social justice warrior’ before the term had been coined” (page 106).  He mentioned that while teaching at the
Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago he worked with the Ecumenical Institute,
an organization that offered introductory courses to the Christian faith,
workshops on anti-racism, and training in community transformation.  I remember while attending college near
Chicago hearing a presentation by one of the staff members of the
institute.  I was stirred by what he said
and was determined that that is what I wanted to do after graduating from

could identify with Dr. Benne’s then sharing the story of how he came to
realize the spiritual bankruptcy of that view of the mission and message of the
church.  He described himself as a
“wanna-be radical” who got “mugged by reality” (page 90).  He came to see how, by viewing the church
primarily as a vehicle of social transformation, he had reduced its
transcendent message to merely human efforts (page 89). 

greatly appreciate the way in which Dr. Benne shares so personally, openly, and
honestly the story of his own spiritual and ministry journey.  He feels deeply and articulates boldly and
clearly the seriousness of the departure of much of American Lutheranism from
the historic Christian faith.  He feels
the pain, and he can articulate the issues. 

the final pages of his memoirs he describes the events of the last twenty
years, including the formation of LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for
Christ), Lutheran CORE, and the NALC (North American Lutheran Church).  He states wisely and accurately, “Though
church schisms are undoubtedly serious matters that should be undertaken with
trepidation, it has seemed clear to me that the schismatic party was actually
the ELCA.  It simply collapsed before the
‘progressive’ American culture, as did other mainline Protestant denominations.
. . . The ELCA bishops, whose first duty was to defend the orthodox truth,
failed miserably” (page 167).

I am very grateful to Dr. Benne for writing these memoirs and am very thankful for the opportunity to read them.  I also want to thank Dr. Benne for the role he has played in the formation and life of Lutheran CORE and the ministry that he continues to have. 

Dr. Robert Benne currently teaches Christian Ethics at the online Institute for Lutheran Theology. He was Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion and Chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department at Roanoke College in Virginia for eighteen years before he left full-time teaching in 2000.  He founded the Roanoke College Center for Religion and Society in 1982 and directed it until 2012.  He continues at Roanoke College as a research associate in its religion and philosophy department.  A link to the ALPB (American Lutheran Publicity Bureau) website where you can order a copy of his memoirs can be found here.

ELCA: Answer the Question! – Part 2

again the ELCA refuses to be honest, to have integrity, and to allow the way it
is doing things to be challenged.  Instead,
once again it just ignores those challenges as it demonstrates that it hopes
that those who disagree will eventually just give up and go away.

the end of last November the ELCA declared on its Facebook page, “Before 2009,
our denomination sinfully refused to ordain any of our openly LGBTQIA+
siblings.”  It also said, “We highly
recommend checking out some of ReconcilingWorks’ resources.”

have several problems with these statements.

Sinful or Favoritism?

First, the ELCA is calling sinful the traditional position on sexual ethics, even though the traditional view was declared by the 2009 social statement to be one of four acceptable “conscience-bound” positions that would have a place in the ELCA.  I had the same problem in 2018 when ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, speaking at the youth gathering, led thirty thousand young people in renouncing the traditional view as a lie and the ELCA did nothing to distance itself from her as well as from her statements and actions.

the ELCA feels that it is free to take any one of the four positions that were
approved in 2009 and state publicly that that is the only acceptable view and
that holding to and advocating for any of the other three positions is a sin, then
it can also be said that the ELCA still teaches that homosexual behavior is a
sin (since that also is one of the four acceptable views) and that the ELCA
still believes that ordaining openly LGBTQIA+ persons is a sin. 

How can the ELCA, who claims to be a champion for justice and fairness, continue to make public statements and continue to take actions that favor any one of the four “ministry perspectives” over the others?  This kind of blatant favoritism is also shown in the Facebook page’s strong recommendation of ReconcilingWorks resources and not also giving equal endorsement to resources that advocate for the traditional view. 


what the ELCA has declared on its Facebook page goes far beyond the boundaries
of what was actually approved in 2009. 
The 2009 social statement and changes in ministry policies said nothing
about bisexual, transgender, or any of the other letters of the LGBTQIA+
formula.  The decisions in 2009 addressed
only same sex attracted people who are living in publicly accountable,
lifelong, monogamous, same gender relationships.


Third, what the ELCA has declared on its Facebook page denigrates the ministry of same sex attracted people who were serving in the ELCA prior to 2009 while living faithfully according to traditional, Biblical sexual ethics.  To claim that the ELCA did not ordain same sex attracted people prior to 2009 is simply false, to say nothing about its being stunningly demeaning to those faithful servants of God.

times I telephoned the person whom the ELCA contact center said is in charge of
its Facebook page.  Two times I left a
voice mail message, asking that person to call me back so that I could inquire
as to how these statements fit in with what was actually approved in 2009.  But neither time did this person call me
back.  I did not want to be accused of
harassing this person, so I did not call a third time, but I do think that that
is an interesting way to not be held accountable for the accuracy and fairness
of what is posted on the ELCA Facebook page. 
Just do not call the person back. 
Then you do not have to deal with what they have to say.

Many times I have
been asked by people whether I think that what Lutheran CORE is doing will
actually get the ELCA to change.  I
always respond, “No, I do not.  It would
take an intervention by God to accomplish that. 
Rather my goal is three-fold – to try to make the ELCA uncomfortable about
what they are doing, to alert people to what is happening, and then to be there
for people when they become aware.”

Devotion for Tuesday, January 14, 2020

“I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that
it is good for a man to remain as he is. 
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released
from a wife? Do not seek a wife” (1 Corinthians 7:26-27).

The question behind this answer
is not one necessarily of human circumstance, but of priorities.  Yes, marriage is good, for it is ordained by
God, but what is your ultimate destination. 
In every circumstance the Lord will lead you and teach you, but take
care not to be waylaid.  Be led by the
Lord who will lead you in the way of everlasting life.  What do you seek?  Is it the world, or the Lord?

Lord, I do make laws of everything and want to stop short of seeing the
whole thing.  Yes, You call many through
the gift of marriage.  It is good, for
You have created it.  But help me to see
that only in the goodness of Your grace will I find the wholeness that You
offer in salvation.  Lead me beyond
temporal circumstances to see the greater portion that You offer that I may continue
the upward call You have given me.

Lord Jesus, You have come to save
each one of us.  Help me to not settle
for the lesser when You call me to the greater. 
Help me to see that this does not mean I have to enter into a certain
lifestyle, but to press ever forward toward the prize which You hold before
me.  Guide me in Your grace in every
circumstance to see Your goodness and the mercy of the Father and live as You
direct.  Amen.

Devotion for Monday, January 13, 2020

“Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he
was called.  Now concerning virgins I
have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of
the Lord is trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 7:24-25).

Remain in the condition in which
you find yourself.  This is not a
fatalism, but a call to look up and realize that any temporary circumstance is
just that, temporary.  The Lord knows all
that is needed and we ought not be carried away by the moment.  Yes, be diligent, but do not sin.  Work hard, but do not fight against where the
Lord has placed you.  Trust in the Lord
above all things.

Lord, help me to see where I should struggle and work hard and where I
should be content.  Grant wisdom that I
may walk in Your presence always knowing that You will work all things together
for good because You love me.  Guide me
in Your wisdom to act according to Your leading that I may grow in becoming
like You.  Help me learn how to be

Lord Jesus, You know all
things.  You know all that is
needed.  You have led me thus far and You
have given me the words of eternal life. 
Help me to be thankful for all that You have given me knowing that any
affliction is a temporary thing.  In You
alone can I find the hope that will lead me through good times and bad.  Guide me, O Lord, that I may now and always
follow You.  Amen.

Devotion for Sunday, January 12, 2020

“For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s
freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave.  You were bought with a price; do not become
slaves of men” (1 Corinthians 7:22-23).

We live in a world with skewed
understanding of reality.  While
screaming for freedom in the crowd, they lament the limitations upon their
desires.  True freedom is found only in
Christ and it is a freedom that transcends circumstance.  It does not seek its own, but understands
that all things belong to the One who made them.  Live in the freedom of Christ and know His
goodness that can never be taken away.

Lord, I spend so much time trying to figure things out that I am mixed
up inside.  Bring me to the place where I
live by faith and not by my ability to figure these things out.  Lead me in Your goodness that I may now and
always abide humbly in Your grace.  Let
me not seek the world, but You and know that in You alone is all the freedom,
goodness, and mercy I could ever hope for.

Come, Holy Spirit, and minister
to my heart.  Guide me according to Your
goodness that I would now and always see things through Your eyes.  Help me know the freedom I have in You and
the slavery which is mine in Christ.  In
both of these things, help me to always be content in and through whatever this
world brings.  Lead me Lord in the way of
everlasting life with peace and freedom in my soul.  Amen.