Incarnation continued-Dec. 12, 2012

Incarnation continued

December 12, 2012

The purpose of Jesus’ incarnation was fulfilled when, just as promised, he suffered and died in the place of sinners though he himself was sinless, was buried in a rich man’s tomb, and rose from death to make righteous the unrighteous.  Jacob Neusner, a scholar of Judaism, defines incarnational as “the representation of God in the flesh, as corporeal, consubstantial in emotion and virtue with human beings, and sharing in the modes and means of action carried out by mortals.”

The incarnation does not teach that man became God.  From the time the Serpent told out parents, “You will be like God,” there has been an ongoing demonic false teaching that we can be gods (e.g., Mormonism) or part of God (e.g., pantheism, panentheism, and New Ageism).  Simply, the incarnation teaches the exact opposite, namely that God became a man.

At the incarnation a person didn’t come into being, he already existed as the second person of the Trinity.  Jesus Christ has not been changed into a man; it is this eternal Person who has come in the flesh.

Divinity:  God the Father said Jesus was God.  Demons said Jesus was God.  Jesus said he was God.  The Bible plainly says Jesus is God.  Jesus is given the names of God.  Jesus possessed the attributes of God.  Jesus did the works of God.  People worshiped Jesus as God.  Colossians 2:9 says it perfectly, “in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”

Humanity:  There are some theories that Jesus was not fully human. This is simply not true, not only did Jesus have a physical body, but he also suffered and died “in the flesh.”

How Could God become a man?

451 AD, the Council of Chalcedon struggled with this question, and after intensive study this is what they came up with.  Jesus Christ is one person with two natures (human and divine) who is both fully God and fully man.  Theologically, the term for the union of both natures is Jesus Christ is hypostatic union, which id taken from the Greek word hypostasis for “person.”

  1. Christ has two distinct natures:  humanity and deity
  2. There is no mixture or intermingling of the two natures
  3. Although he has two natures, Christ is one person

In keeping with the biblical position of Chalcedon, we must retain both the full divinity and full humanity of Jesus Christ.  To accomplish this, we must conclude that when Jesus became a man, he did not change his identity as God but rather changed his role.  According to the church father Augustine, “Christ added to himself which he was not, he did not lose what he was.”  He who was and is God took the likeness of humanity.  God became the “image of God” for the sake of our salvation.

What, then, does all this mean?  It means that there was no change in His deity, but that He took human nature to Himself, and chose to live in this world as a man.  He humbled Himself in that way.  He deliberately put limits upon Himself.  Now we cannot go further.  We do not know how He did it.  We cannot understand it, in a sense.  But we believe this:  in order that He might live this life as a man, while He was here on earth, He did not exercise certain qualities of His Godhead.  That was why…He needed to be given the gift of the Holy Spirit without measure.  ~Martin Lloyd-Jones

Two wrong ways of thinking in regards to Jesus’ humanity and divinity:  the first is to deny the full divinity of Jesus in favor or his humanity; the second is to deny the full humanity of Jesus in favor of his divinity.  Jesus is not a blending of the two natures He is God becoming man.

Jesus is the only God who gets off his throne to humbly serve us and give us grace and mercy.  Subsequently, Jesus can both sympathize with and deliver us.  Practically, this mean that in our time of need, we can run to Jesus our sympathetic priest who lives to serve us and give us grace and mercy for anything life brings.

Jesus alone can mediate between God and us because he alone is fully God and fully man and thereby able to perfectly represent both God and man.

In most religions the holiest men are those who are most separated from culture and sinners.  Conversely, Jesus Christ came into the mess of human history and spent time in community with believers and unbelievers alike.  Subsequently, religious people who separated themselves from sinners and cultures were prone to denounce Jesus for the kind of company he kept.

Jesus’ incarnation is our missional model.  From the missional life of Jesus we learn five great missional truths for our own life.  First, an incarnational missional life is contextual and crosses cultural barriers.  Second, an incarnational missional life is evangelistic.  Third, an incarnational missional life is humble.  Fourth, an incarnational missional life is one devoted to the church.  Fifth, an incarnational missional life is global.

Indeed, the world is our mission field, and Jesus is our model incarnational missionary who went before us and now goes with us as we continue in his work by his Spirit as his church for his glory and our joy.

Personal Thoughts and Comments

The quote from Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor was an excerpt from an interview.

Doctrine:  What Christians Should Believe by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears, Published by:   Crossway 2010


Second Sunday of Advent-Prepare the Way of the Word-Dec. 9, 2012

Second Sunday of Advent-Prepare the way of the Word-December 9, 2012

Scripture:  Luke 3:1-6

God speaks in specific times and ways just as Christ being born in Bethlehem was specific.  Isaiah mentions that the weight of the government will be upon his shoulders, and so as it is mentioned the heavy political forces at work, as well as the religious leaders who had a stake in what was going on at the time.  The word of God came to the one who was seeking Him.

After receiving the word John didn’t remain in the wilderness to avoid God, but rather to connect with God and then re-engage the world.  Bringing a message of repentance or turning our lives around.  I would also offer turning our lives around requires turning them over to Him, because salvation is the work of God.

Our challenge as believers is the same as that of John, to seek the Lord, and when He speaks be ready to move.  We must make ready the path of the Lord, both in our heart and then in the world around us.  It is much like road construction, but begins in the human heart and in our daily lives.  As we encounter the Word of God it builds up that which is low, humbles that which is puffed up, straightens the crooked, and makes smooth the rough spots.

Once we receive the Word, and respond, shall we and all flesh see the salvation of God in Jesus Christ.

Incarnation: God Comes-Dec. 5, 2012

Incarnation:  God Comes

December 5, 2012

When speaking about Jesus, Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor said, “He is in time, as God is in eternity.  He is the clearest portrait we have of God.  Without this visible portrait of God in Christ the picture would unclear and incomplete.”

J. I. Packer has described the incarnation as the “supreme mystery” associated with the gospel.  The incarnation is more of a miracle than the resurrection because in it somehow a holy God and sinful humanity are joined, yet without the presence of sin:  “Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the incarnation.”  In Jesus, God enters the human realm; He walks on water, calms storms, heals the sick, feeds the hungry, raises the dead, and conquers the grave.

Incarnation (from the Latin meaning “becoming flesh”).  One prominent theological journal explains:  The English word “incarnation” is based on the Latin Vulgate, “Et verbum caro factum est.”  The noun caro is from the root carn– (“flesh”).  The incarnation means that the eternal Son of God became “flesh,” that is, He assumed an additional nature, namely, a human nature.

To the Hebrews, the Word of God was the presence and action of God breaking into human history with unparalleled power and authority.  God’s Word indicated action, an agent accomplishing the will of God.  Some examples include God bringing things into existence by his Word and God’s Word being sent out to accomplish his purposes.  For the Hebrew, God’s speech and action were one and the same.

For Heraclitus, the creation of the world, the ordering of all life, and the immortality of the human soul were all made possible solely by the word (or logos) that was the invisible and intelligent force behind all that we see in this world.  He went so far as to say that truth could be known and wisdom, the great aim of Greek existence, found not by knowledge of many things but instead by a deep and clear awareness of one thing-the word, or logos.

Logos-is from the Greek meaning “word,” or “reason.”  As we have seen, it was used by the ancient Greeks to convey the idea that the world was governed by a universal intelligence.  However, John used logos differently from other writers, that is, to refer to the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was born of a virgin as the one true God who became man, living at a time and place in which the Hebrew and Greek worlds collided.  John begins with a declaration that both Hebrews and Greeks would have agreed with, that before the creation of the world and time, the Word existed eternally.  He then scandalizes both groups by stating that Jesus is the Word and was with the one and only God and, in fact, was himself God and was face-to-face with God the Father from eternity.  This thundering declaration would have been stunning to both Jews and Greeks who had vigorously argued that a man could never become a god, though they may never have considered that God had become a man, as John’s eyewitness testimony revealed.

Five aspects of Logos referred to by John

  1. The Logos is eternal
  2. The Logos has always been with God, face-to-face with the Father as an equal relationship.
  3. The Logos is a person distinct from yet equal to God.
  4. The Logos is the creator and therefore eternal, self-existent, and all-powerful.
  5. The Logos became flesh. John clearly taught that matter is not inherently evil and that God does involve himself with the material.  Implicitly, we are told that the Logos that was present in the sanctuary became physically present in the space-and-time world.  As George Eldon Ladd observes, the Logos became flesh to reveal to humans five things:  life, light, grace, truth, glory, and even God himself.

Logos is one of the strongest arguments for the deity of Jesus as the personal, eternally existing creator of the universe, distinct from yet equal with God the Father, who became incarnate (or came in the flesh) to demonstrate his glory in grace and truth to reveal life and light to men.

Around 4,000 BC, after Adam and Eve sinned, God prophesied to them that the Messiah (Jesus) would be born of a woman; he makes no reference to a father, which intimates the virgin birth.  Around 700 BC Isaiah prophesied:  “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  God became a man at the incarnation of Jesus.

They argue that the Hebrew word almah (which is used in Isaiah 7:14) typically means “young woman,” that does not mean that she was not a virgin.  The word almah is used elsewhere in the Old Testament to refer specifically to a young virgin woman.  Furthermore, two centuries before Jesus was born, we find that the Jews understood exactly what almah means:  the Septuagint, the Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, translates almah as parthenos, which unambiguously means “virgin.”

Concerning Jesus’ birthplace, in roughly 700 BC Micah prophesied that Jesus would be born in the town of Bethlehem, saying, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”

First Sunday of Advent-The Promise of the Word-Dec. 2, 2012

First Sunday of Advent-Promise of the Word-December 2, 2012

Scripture:  Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:3-7

Lighting of Prophecy Candle

Jeremiah brings a message the is direct about God’s promises and character.  All too often the word prophecy is thought by many to be predicting or telling the future.  In the biblical perspective that is not necessarily the case.  God’s Prophets were those that we speaking and proclaiming the truth of God, bring a message of God’s promises.  In that way they are telling the truth about a future event but it is not from uncertainty but because the all-knowing eternal God has already shared this information with them.  Therefore, it is a proclamation about the truth of God yet to be revealed in time.  Jeremiah in this scripture fulfills that role.

Days are coming says the Lord,  when I will fulfill the good word I have spoken to you.  The days have not yet arrived but are coming and we should trust the word of the Lord.  Then more specifics are given, a righteous branch of David will spring forth.  This righteous branch will execute justice and righteousness on earth.  In those days, more specifics, Judah shall be saved, Jerusalem will dwell in safety, and the city will be called the Lord is our righteousness.

Days are coming indicates that better days are coming and Jeremiah is not vague he gives specifics.  Just because we may not know the plan God has does not mean that there is not one.  God has a very good plan for His purposes.  His ways are not our ways and He does the unexpected to bring glory to Himself.  Through David’s line, God is working to bring justice and righteousness.  In reality a sinful fallen world will never have the answer for how to fix itself, it can’t, nor was it intended to, only the righteous, holy, loving, creator, can restore creation to the order and balance He intended.  It is the sin of pride to believe, apart from God, we understand what the world is supposed to look like and that we can fix it.

In our pride to say we have answers to fix the world’s problems that don’t include God as the solution, we are telling God we don’t need Him.  We are essentially telling God He is wrong and to do so would be the same as saying we don’t know or trust Him.  We are certainly not allowing His plan to shape our lives.  Prophecy is the stating of a reality that God already has planned.  Then trusting and knowing He is able to fulfill those plans in His time.

In those days the city will have a change of name/identity.  A new name that is similar to being under the witness protection program.  The city will witness and testify of the fulfilling of God’s truth, and will live in safety with a new name.  This is also the same promise to all who would call His name, and bear witness to Him.

These things will happen in those days that God has determined and the difficult part often times as people of faith is to wait for the promise of those times when the world mocks and ridicules.  The Psalmist tells us not to be weary in waiting, or get embarrassed, because those that trust Him will not but put to shame.  Whereas, those who deal treacherously will be put to shame.  Waiting is not standing by doing nothing but being bound together with other believers in our common identity in Christ living in expectation of the fulfillment of God’s word.

Make, Teach, and Lead are all verbs and they are the action of God in scripture not of us.  Why would anyone ask God to make, teach, and lead because He is the Lord of our salvation and we owe our lives to Him and for this we should wait all day, every day, and/or forever.  It is not too big a task to ask our Creator to make anything, so the Psalmist asks, make me know your ways.  Put your knowledge in me and make me yours.  Teach me your paths so I can learn which way to walk.  In learning to walk I will often stumble and lose sight of your paths and ways, so lead me.

It appears that many in our cluttered culture today worship a God that seems aloof and disconnected or uncaring.  It is hard to have a personal relationship with a depersonalized God.  If He is not personal we see obedience as an option or something we can put off.  But what if Jesus saw the cross as optional?  Where would we be?  So as it is Lord, make/create, teach/instruct, lead/give the example.    You alone are worthy, you are a personal God of flesh that came to this place  and bore the sin of humanity upon your body, and died in my place and even if you never did another thing for me your salvation is the greatest gift of all.  Because of that I owe you my life, allegiance, and obedience.

Remembering, does not imply that God can forget, rather God allow the core of your character, which is compassion and loving-kindness to triumph over the actions of man.  Allow the strength of that love to cover all my former (youth) & daily sins (transgressions) & willful disobedience.  According to the love with which you created me, remember me that way.  See my life, see me the way you created me not the ugliness of my sin, because that is who you are and really the only hope I have is in your mercy.  So it is in Advent we wait alongside countless generations, because those who wait in expectation will not be ashamed.

You always keep your promises.  And so in hope, wonder, fear, and expectation we wait for your real, personal presence to transform our lives, change our names, and even our identities.  For we are no longer slaves to sin but we ask you to take charge, make, teach, lead, and we wait longingly and trust obediently in your promise that in your Son you will see not my sins of old or my daily transgressions but the person you’ve lovingly created, me.  In the fulfillment of these promises you will be glorified and we will be blessed by your work of grace, the great mystery of old, because of your work throughout eternity and all creation.  As we then wait, we can celebrate the faithfulness of His Word, our salvation, and the hope of glory is Christ in us.  May we bear witness to His holy name.

What Child Is This?

What Child Is This?

Advent is the season of anticipation of the coming of Christ to earth.  The miraculous “virgin birth” has been one of the foundational pieces of our faith.  It was and is a divine mystery.  It is mysterious why God choose Mary & Joseph almost two thousand years ago.  It is a mystery how the Holy Spirit conceived in Mary, Jesus.  It is not, however, a mystery as to why Jesus came.  Jesus came to earth to be the physical presence of God to us, Immanuel.

Immanuel is the name given to Jesus meaning God with us.  Immanuel is personal, loving, involved in our daily lives.  There are many who believe in God as creator, much like the deists, but do not believe that God acts personally in the affairs of everyday life.  Like a divine clock maker God created and wound up the universe and now we are on our own.  In the Christian faith the name Immanuel doesn’t allow for that, because God is with us.  He came to us through the miracle of the virgin birth.

His purpose is also not a mystery.  The name Jesus means, he will save.  Now that we understand that God is with us, it is God Himself who will save us.  God is holy and we are not holy.  Sin in our nature and in our actions separated us from God.  The One who is holy can’t be connect with one who is not.  A sinner in the presence of God would be a death sentence.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Romans 6:23, points out there is hope for us as sinners. God has given us a gift that we didn’t deserve and could not earn on our own, eternal life.  The gift was offered freely as Jesus gave Himself up freely on the cross, but it is truly a costly gift.  God desires a relationship with us and is personally involved in the human story not only as Creator, but as Redeemer, and Sustainer as well.

The God of all creation was personally involved in the act of creation, in redeeming through the sacrifice of His perfect holy Son Jesus, and in sustaining every part of life through the power of the Holy Spirit.  We do not need to wait any longer, God is here, He will save, and He is coming back again.  What child is this?  He is Jesus Christ, God with us, Savior, Lord, and King.  As you celebrate Christmas, remember the greatest gifts are the Presence of God, the Salvation of God, and the Promise of God that He will come again.

God Bless You & Merry Christmas!

Chrismons-Nov. 28, 2012

Chrismons & Christian Symbols-November 28, 2012

Chrismon is a combination of two words; Christ and Monogram.  A Chrismon is a symbol of Christ.  Christian symbols date back to the early church.   They are found on the wall of the Roman catacombs, on jewelry and utensils from excavations in Palestine and elsewhere.  Early Christians used them to identify themselves to one another, to designate  a meeting place, and sometimes, to show non-believers where they stood.  These symbols of the early church served to transmit the faith and beliefs of the followers of Jesus Christ.

Chrismons were first used in 1957 in Danville, VA.  These symbols from Christian history refer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They tell the story of God’s plan for our salvation that, through faith in Jesus Christ, we might all be restored to the Father.  The Chrismons are composed of white and gold materials.  White is symbolic of our Lord’s purity and perfection.  Gold is symbolic of his majesty, glory, and triumph.  The green is symbolic of life and Christ’s promised healing.  The white lights on the tree point to Christ as the light of the world.

Christmas rose refers to the passage in Isaiah 35:1 that says, “and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”  It symbolized the coming of Christ as the Messiah to a desert land.

Manger reminds people that Christ came in humility as a baby in Bethlehem.

Shepherd’s staff brings to mind the idea of Jesus referring to Himself as the Good Shepherd.  It also reminds us of the story of the shepherds coming to the newborn king.

Lamb also has a duel meaning for the Christian.  In John 1:29, John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God.”  At Christmas, however, the lamb also reminds people of the shepherds caring for their sheep in the fields near Bethlehem.

Angels sang to proclaim the Messiah’s birth.  Chirsmons depicting angels also remind people of the visit of the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-33).

Star of Bethlehem is a five-pointed design, symbolized the coming of the wise men from the East to worship the new King.

Butterfly depicts eternal life through Christ’s resurrection.  Christ promises this new life to his followers.

Alpha and Omega, AΩ, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, come from Revelation 22:13.  This sign stands for Christ’s divinity.  He is the beginning and the end of all things.

Fish (Ichthus, IXOYC), stand for the first letters in the words Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.  For the early Christian, this symbol spoke of man’s need for a Savior and the fact that salvation came only through Jesus Christ.

Anchor cross was a symbol of hope for the early Christians.

Latin cross portrays Christ’s atoning death.  This design is sometimes combined with Alpha or Omega symbol.

Tau cross  (Anticipatory, Old Testament, Advent-Salvation promised but not accomplished.  Numbers 21:9; Isaiah 53:8, 9.

Passion cross (Cross of Suffering)-pointed ends remind of the nails, thorns and spear.  John 21:27.

St. Andrew’s cross Andrew was reputed to have died on a cross of this shape.  Here, this cross symbolizes the whole Christian Church.  Ephesians 1:23.

Greek cross- all extensions are of equal length.  The more balanced design makes for easier form.  Much used by the early Greek artists.

Cross Over the World Christ over the world, “Go ye into all the world…”

Jerusalem Cross Four Tau crosses meet in the center to form a larger cross:  five wounds of our Lord.  Or, the Old Testament prophecies (the Tau Crosses) culminated in the crucifixion of our Lord (the large cross) on a hill outside Jerusalem.  Since then, His followers have carried the Gospel to the four corners of the world (small crosses in the corners).

Cross Triumphant the world united in Christ

Cross in Eternity

Celtic Cross the circle around the center of the cross is variously interpreted as symbolizing the sun, eternity, or deity of Christ.

Descending dove reminds the Christian of two special events.  As a symbol of the Holy Spirit, it represents God’s presence at creation.  In the New Testament, we find the dove at Christ’s baptism.

Circle represents eternity.  Not only does it speak of God as being with end, but it also reminds the viewer of eternal life which Christ provides for the believer.

Interwoven circles embody not only the teaching of eternity but also equality and unity.

Triangle emphasizes Trinity.  Often these shapes are combined to expand the message each conveys. 

XP-Chi Rho, the first letters for Christ in the Greek alphabet.  Luke 2:11.  Sometimes the X becomes a cross, +.  Another interpretation is based on the Latin, Christus Rex, Christ the King.  X-mas is often misused or misunderstood today X was a short hand for the name Christ in Greek thus Christmas.

IHS or IHC-The first three letters of JESus in Greek.

NIKA-the Greek word for conquer.

Crown-the Kingship of our Lord, Jesus Christ; His victory over sin and death; His place of honor at the right Hand of God.  1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 1:18; Romans 8:34.

Corner Stone-“Jesus Christ, the chief corner-stone.”  Ephesians 2:20.

Sun of Righteousness-Our Lord as prophesied in Malachi 4:2.

Stars-often formed by crosses set at various angles, symbolize the close relationship between the birth and death or our Lord.   Five pointed is the Epiphany Star; Six pointed is the Creator’s Star; Seven Pointed is the seven gifts of the Spirit; Eight pointed is man’s regeneration through baptism.  1 Peter 3:20, 21.

Serpent on the Tau cross is the prefiguration of the sacrifice on the cross.  John 3:14.

Thorns are a representation of our Lord’s crown of suffering. Mark 15:17.

Rose-represents the Nativity of our Lord.  Also, our Lord’s human mother.

Lily of the Valley-the humility of the man, Jesus.  Song of Solomon 2:1

Chalice-the Lord’s Supper, the Sacrament of the Altar.

Shell-the Sacrament of Holy Baptism.

The Chrismon tree is decorated with symbols that should remind the viewer of Christ’s life.  Reflect on the meaning of each symbol.  What did it mean to the early Christians?  What does it mean to you today?  Hopefully, the Chrismons effectively communicate in pictorial form the realities of the Christian faith.

Columbarium Dedication-Nov. 25, 2012

Columbarium Dedication

Mentow Baptist Church, November 25, 2012

Words of Introduction

We dedicate and bless our new columbarium today.  A columbarium is a wall of niches to hold the ashes of the deceased.  Christians have a long history of burying their dead close to their places of worship.  It is a way to remember that we are part of the communion of the saints.  Death does not end love or community for by his death Jesus overcame death, not just for himself but for all people.

Scriptures of Faith

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:1-4)

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38-39)

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. (Heb. 12:1-2)

 Words of Dedication

We present this columbarium to be consecrated to the glory of Almighty God and for service in this church.  This columbarium will serve as a final place of rest for those dearly departed.  It will also be marked as a place where the families of those interned here can come to remember, honor, and celebrate the lives of those loved ones who have gone on before.  It will also allow those who will be interned to be place alongside generations of their families.

Responsive Dedication (L: Leader; P: People)

L: To the glory of God, Giver of life and life eternal –

P: We dedicate this columbarium

L: For the comfort of families for whom their loved ones’ remains will rest here –

P: We dedicate this columbarium.

L: Trusting God’s presence with us in life, in death, in life beyond death –

P: We dedicate this columbarium and ourselves to Christ’s service until that day we are joined together with the saints in glory.

 Prayer of Dedication

Father God, we dedicate this columbarium to your glory in joyful celebration of the lives of your people, who at the end of service in the earthly life find their rest in you. And as we dedicate this place for God, we rededicate our lives to the service of Jesus Christ, your Son, Our Lord. Amen.