Saturday, February 23, 2008


Where there is no vision, the people perish.

And the Lord answered me: 'Write the vision; make it plain upon tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end -it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.'

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they only hated him the more. He said to them, 'Hear this dream which I have dreamed: behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf arose and stood upright; and behold, your sheaves gathered round it, and bowed down to my sheaf.'... They said to one another, 'Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild beast has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.'

But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.'

(Proverbs 29: 18, KJV; Habakkuk 2: 2-3, RSV; Genesis 37: 5-7, 19-20, RSV; Matthew 1: 20-21, RSV)

'Here comes this dreamer.' Joseph is remembered in the biblical story as a dreamer and interpreter of dreams. He sees what others cannot yet see and pictures what others cannot yet imagine. In his dreaming he is the bearer of a divine vision; the vision of God's new future which is about to break into the history of Israel and transform it.

In something like this sense, Christians are called to be dreamers, people captured and captivated by the vision of the new creation which God is working in history. We are bearers of the dream of the kingdom which was incarnate in Jesus and which has been reflected and refracted, forgotten and recovered, in all the generations since. Until now, in our time, we become visionaries of God's justice and mercy, seers of God's love and peace.

But the dream is threatening. The dreamer dangerous. Joseph's brothers react angrily to his dream of the sheaves (and the stars, the sun and the moon!). They want to be rid of him and his troublesome visions. 'Come let us kill him,' they say.

The revelation of God always meets with resistance. For the dream of God's coming future inevitably challenges the finitude and fallibility of our present realities and complacencies. It happened to Jesus, whose coming into the world was announced by the angel to that other Joseph in another dream. Jesus, God's self-revelation, his dream incarnate, precipitated the same violent reaction.

'Come, let us kill him before his dream undoes the world as we know it and control it.' Every disciple thereafter who has sought to become a secondary bearer of the vision of Christ has found the same: to be a dreamer after God's heart means to take up a cross.

'And we shall see what shall become of his dreams.' There is irony in these last words of the brothers. They were determined that Joseph's dream would come to nothing and so leave their world unchallenged and untouched. But their very actions against him became the impetus that set in motion that long journey which took Joseph to Egypt and to power; power which, years later, put him in a position to supply food and shelter to his family now in desperate need. The sheaves did come and bow down. The vision was fulfilled. God's revelation reaches its goal even -- indeed especially -- through the cross.

But how strangely. Never for a moment did the young (and arrogant!)

dreamer suspect the tortuous dance his dream would lead him. The rejection of his family, the faked death, the horrible pit, the slave auction, refugee status in Egypt, poverty, false accusation, sexual harassment, prison, the threat of execution, years of hard labour. All this lay between the dream and its fulfilment. And only in the treading out of that journey did the vision prove its power.

So it was with Jesus. Announced in the initial dream as 'saviour of his people', he had to make that long journey from Nazareth to Calvary before the vision declared itself finally, bursting forth on resurrection morning in unquenchable light and irrepressible life.

Vision, conflict, sacrifice, fulfilment. These are the dynamics of revelation in the world. And they are the dynamics we will discover when we venture to take up the dream, the dream of God's grace and truth in the person of Jesus Christ.

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart, Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art; Be thou my best thought in the day and the night, Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

Ancient Irish

The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -- Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, 'God's Grandeur'

When we are open we find that the depths of ourselves are revealed to us. God presents us with ourselves, and then, as we work with him to understand and grow, he draws us closer to himself. Dreams and the understanding of them seem to be one way in which God pours out his love upon us and helps us become what we are capable of becoming.

Morton Kelsey, Dreams: A Way to Listen to God

Of course, the great change that has overtaken the theology of sleep is that the ancients believed dreams to be premonitory of the unborn future, whereas we moderns regard them rather as uprisings from the half-buried past. But this difference of interpretation does not at all affect Christianity's main contention that God can be with us even in our dreams. We are too apt to think that our dreams come to us by 'mere chance, that there is no rhyme or reason about them; yet such a notion is quite as much opposed by the modern Freudians as by the ancient soothsayers. Again, we think that we have no control over our dreams, and it is indeed true that we have no direct control over them -- we cannot, as we lie awake, decide what we are going to dream about after we go to sleep. Never theless, we can be certain that the power which controls our dreams is the same power that controls our life as a whole. If we have surrendered our hearts to God in the sunlight, he will be with us no less during the hours of darkness.

John Baillie, Christian Devotion

The characteristic way of a prophet in Israel is that of poetry and lyric. The prophet engages in futuring fantasy. The prophet does not ask if the vision can be implemented, for questions of implementation are of no consequence until the vision can be imagined. The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost noth ing. The same royal consciousness that makes it possible to implement anything and everything is the one that shrinks imagination because imagination is a danger... It is the vocation of the prophet to keep alive the ministry of imagination, to keep on conjuring and proposing alternative futures to the single one the king [i.e. the powers of the status quo] wants to urge as the only thinkable one.

Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination

The notion of revelation describes the condition... by which I mean that something profoundly convulsive and disturbing suddenly becomes visible and audible with in describable definiteness and exactness. One hears -- one does not seek; one takes -- one does not ask who gives: a thought flashes out like lightning, inevitably without hesitation -- I have never had any choice about it.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo

Revelation means the moment in our history through which we know ourselves to be known from beginning to end, in which we are apprehended by the knower: it means the self-disclosing of that eternal knower. Revela tion means the moment in which we are surprised by the knowledge of someone there in the darkness and void of human life; it means the self-disclosure of light in our darkness. Revelation is the moment in which we find our judging selves to be judged not by ourselves or our neigh bours, but by one who knows the final secrets of the heart; revelation means the self-disclosure of the judge. Revela tion means that we find ourselves to be valued rather than valuing and that all our values are transvaluated by the activity of a universal valuer.

When a price is put upon our heads, which is not our price, when the unfairness of all the fair prices we have placed on things is shown up; when the great riches of God reduce our wealth to poverty, that is revelation. When we find out that we are no longer thinking him, but that he first thought us, that is revelation.

H. Richard Niebuhr, The Meaning of Revelation

A Christianity which does not resist the cross of reality, but rather takes it up, communicates to society the power of the spirit -- the spirit which, in the midst of tempta tions, ruptured relationships, pain and absurdity, gives the miracle of endurance and continuance; the spirit of hope where there was nothing to hope for, the spirit of him who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist (Romans 4: 17f). Faith which stands the test of love, verities the presence of this spirit. There is no other spirit in which the present social reality can be brought into relationship with the absolute, with God. Without this spirit, the 'fury of disappearing' con fronts humanity.

Jurgen Moltmann, Hope and Planning

O Lord, for the power and persistence and glory of your vision, given through the ages to prophets, seers, dreamers and visionaries, we give you thanks. For those moments when something of that same great vision has dawned, bold and vivid, upon our own hearts, we are grateful. We pray now that the power of your revelation, present in our history in Jesus Christ, may revitalise our stale customs, challenge and transform our unjust politics and create anew our tired and self-centred religion.

Forgive us the dullness of mind that blurs the sharp freshness of your dream, and the timidity of heart that would rather play safe with the familiar than risk the adventure of a new path. Forgive the inertia of self-interest that beats against the movement of your spirit because it asks for the taking up of a cross in the journey of faith. Forgive us for the times when we confuse the petty dreams of our own imagination with the great vision of the new creation in Jesus Christ.

Reveal yourself to us again, 0 God. Show us your glory. Revive that vision without which we perish. Let the reality of your kingdom, manifest in the words and deeds and destiny of Jesus, break in upon us and upon our world, judging, healing, reconciling and restoring. Grant us courage not merely to see that vision, nor merely to celebrate it in word and song, but to live it out in the great and small moments of our daily lives. And to your name be all honour and glory and power, now and forever. Amen.

A Benediction

Let us go out from our customs and our habits and learn to hope from the Bible. Let us go out and cross the frontiers so that we may infect life with hope. Let us ignore the barriers, and look only to the one who breaks them down. He is risen. Jesus is risen indeed. Blessed be the Lord for ever and ever.

Jurgen Moltmann, The Power of the Powerless

Rowland Croucher ed., High Mountains Deep Valleys, (Albatross/Lion) chapter 52.

Monday, February 11, 2008


(Helmut Thielicke)

When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go free, for nothing... But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go free,' then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl;and he shall serve him for life.'

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.'

Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.' They answered him, 'We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, "You will be made free"?' Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.'

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

(Exodus 21: 2, 5-6; Luke 4: 16-19; John 8: 31-36; 2 Corinthians 3:17 -- all RSV)

Most Sunday afternoons before I was married, our living room was the scene of a theological battle. My father was an amateur theologian and my fiance was a theological student, but they were seldom in agreement. The conflict ranged far and wide throughout the scriptures and beyond, but in the end it usually focussed on one major point of contention: Is liberty the basic component of the Christian gospel or is love?

My father contended that liberty must have priority for it is impossible for love to flourish unless it is free. Love cannot be forced or manipulated. It cannot truly be love unless it is love freely given. Even God does not force his love upon a resisting person.

On the other hand, my fiance argued that love must take first place for it is only out of an attitude of love that liberty can be'granted. As long as there is self-interest or suspicion or rivalry, we will try to force people to our own ends. When we truly love people we are willing to grant them freedom. After all, is it not the proof of God's prior love for us that he allows the freedom to accept him or reject him?

It was a circular argument, a bit like the chicken and the egg. Each quality is dependent on the other. In fact, they must be coexistent if they are to exist in any absolute sense. Love is the atmosphere in which true liberty exists, while liberty creates and increases the opportunity for love. Paul tells us that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. His presence liberates us from the human bonds which enslave us. He is reflecting the manifesto of Jesus in Luke 4: 18. Does this mean that where there is no liberty, the Spirit of the Lord is not present? That could be a sobering thought. But Paul also tells us that the Spirit of the Lord produces certain qualities in our lives and the foremost of these is love. Love, liberty and the presence of the Holy Spirit seem to go together.

This kind of thinking worries some people. Surely without a code of law, human weakness will run riot and the Christian's life will collapse into chaos.

Yet love is not wishywashy. It is tough. Our love restricts our liberty and prevents it from bursting out into selfish licence. If we love our Christian brothers and sisters we will not try to force them into our mould as though we alone had access to the Spirit of God. We will care enough for them to set them free to work out God's plan for them, whatever that may be.

Love will not allow us to exercise our liberty in such a way as to harm another, even it if means we have to make sacrifices ourselves. Love will not allow us to be judgmental or divisive. We are not free from our brothers and sisters, but free for them. In the same way we are not free from the world, but we are free for the world.

Our love for our Lord releases us into his service. When we bow the knee to him he does not take our freedom from us, but he wills us to be free. We show our love by surrendering to his will and in that surrender we gain a freedom we had never dreamed of.

As always, the truth lies in paradox. The old illustration in the book of Exodus expresses it all. No-one is more free than a voluntary slave. Yet even there Jesus has the last word. We may see ourselves as slaves, but God sees us as his children -- free children in his household.

Everything depends not on our merely reacting, but rather upon our learning to undergo that transformation of vision that took place in the eyes of Jesus when he looked at his enemies, upon seeing in the functionaries and fanatical ideologists the hidden brothers and sisters of our Lord, for whom he died and whom he bought with a great price.

If we allow him to give us that vision we shall experience a miracle: will become inwardly free from the other's oppression and our witness will gain in authority. Nothing like this ever happens anywhere else in the world with its law of retaliation. It happens only where Jesus Christ rules and calls us to the freedom of those who love.

Helmut Thielicke, The Freedom of the Christian Man

If freedom is truth in action and if Jesus Christ and God are one, then freedom in the [fie of any Christian must be simply God in action. God in action, freeing the human mind from the need to follow the herd, from the need to despise, from the need to prejudge, from the need to love inadequately... God in action on behalf of our release from all that binds us, from all that makes us stupid, insensitive; from all that makes us mimics, erratic halfdoers, living only on the surface and in the margins of life.

Eugenia Price, Where God Offers Freedom

The commandment 'love your enemies' has always constituted a certain offence to the ordinary human mind. In the first place, how can anybody command me to love? Is not love a spontaneous act which occurs of itself quite independent of any external pressure? So how can I be enjoined to love, of all people, my enemies?...

When Jesus prayed for them and thus broke through to love for his enemies, this was not based upon an act of will that led to victory over himself. It was rather the result of a new way of seeing, a real act of seeing... He saw through and beyond the functions they were then performing against him and recognised in them the real human design that God intended, namely children of his Father in heaven and thus his brothers.

Helmut Thielicke, The Freedom of the Christian Man

Why then, doesn't Jesus Christ free Christians to disagree in love, to shun prejudice, to be sensitive, to share the sheer joy of knowing God? Why is it then that the one common indictment against us by the rest of the world is, that we tend to huddle in our parlours in self-righteous intensity over the God who said he came to set men free to live their lives in his strength and his love and his balance?

Eugenia Price, Where God Offers Freedom

Four tests of freedom:

1. Are you overly concerned about what others think of you?

2. Are you willing to become involved in the world's problems?

3. Are you primarily interested in others for what they can do for you?

4. Are you concerned about who is going to get the credit?

Howard Keeley

Freedom is a gift which God gives his people when they accept his love for them in Jesus Christ.

The authentic mark of the Christian style of life is that we live in God's freedom and transmit it to others. Yet we find ourselves living all too often not as free persons but as slaves. We fear to live freely because it means risking rejection, ridicule, the loss of others' love. We pretend, posture, cover up and live dishonestly. It is tragic that so many of us who have talked about God's unconditional love in Christ still continue to live closed lives before friends and fellow Christians.

Bruce Larson, Setting Men Free

A Christian is the most free lord of all and subject to none. A Christian is the most dutiful servant of all and subject to everyone.

Martin Luther

Pledge taken by the members of the non-violence movement led by Dr Martin Luther King:

1. Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.

2. Remember always that the non-violent movement in Birmingham seeks justice and reconciliation, not victory.

3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all might be free.

5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all might be free.

6. Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.

8. Refrain from violence of fist, tongue or heart.

9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

10. Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain of the demonstration.

Martin Luther King

When you most belong to him, you most belong to yourself. Lowest at his feet you stand straightest before everything else. Bound to him you walk the earth free. Fearing him you are afraid of nothing else. You bow to him, but you do not bow to anything else. You are God's freeman, for you are God's slave. The strongest persons are those most surrendered to God; the weakest persons are those most surrendered to themselves.

E. Stanley Jones

I love, I love my Master, I will not go out free,

For he is my redeemer; he paid the price for me.

I would not leave his service, it is so sweet and blest;

And in the weariest moments he gives the truest rest.

My Master shed his life-blood my vassal life to win,

And save me from the bondage of tyrant self and sin.

He chose me for his service and gave me power to choose

That blessed perfect freedom which 1 shall never lose.

Frances Ridley Havergal

Lord God, whom we freely choose to love and serve, we are astonished that you should choose not only to accept our service, but also to grant us total freedom as your sons and daughters. Help us to live in that freedom with love as our aim.

Teach us that freedom is not something to be grasped for ourselves, but something to be given freely to others. Since you do not bind burdens upon us, teach us not to bind burdens on others. Instead let us share the ministry of Jesus -- proclaiming good news to the poor, release to the captives, sight to the blind and liberty for the oppressed. Let the year of Jubilee begin!

A Benediction

May God, whose freedom is absolute and whose nature is love, teach us to show the world the freedom of the children of God. May the love of Jesus motivate our actions, and his mind control our thoughts. May the Holy Spirit find liberty in us so that his will may be done in our lives as it is in heaven. Amen.

Rowland Croucher, ed., High Mountains Deep Valleys (Albatross/Lion), chapter 48

Sunday, February 3, 2008


They did not understand the saying which he spoke to them.

Jesus said to them, 'My food is doing the will of him who sent me, and finishing the work he has given me. Don't you say, "Four months more and then comes the harvest"? But I tell you to open your eyes and look at the fields -- they are gleaming white, all ready for the harvest!'

This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, 'Do you love me?' He said, 'Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.' Jesus said, 'Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.' Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, 'Follow me!' Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them... When Peter saw him he asked, 'Lord, what about him?' Jesus answered, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.' Because of this, the rumour spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?'

He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall be my witnesses.'

(Luke 2: 50, RSV; John 4: 34-35, Phillips; John 10: 6, RSV; John 21: 17b-23, NIV; Acts 1: 7-8, RSV)

There were many times when Jesus' followers misunderstood him. Worse, there is evidence that they developed their own beliefs, theories and practices around their misunderstanding. Then they dignified their errors by claiming that they were acting by his word and with his authority and blessing.

Such phenomena have blighted the church in every period of history, including the present. We are probably all guilty of it to some extent.

After Peter had renewed his confession of love for Jesus, as they walked together by the Sea of Galilee, Peter became curious about what Jesus had in store for others. He enquired about John. Jesus replied, 'If John lives on until I come again, what business is that of yours?' That was the fact. But it didn't take long for the simple, direct word of Jesus to be woven into a theory about the second coming. The rumour spread that John would not die before Jesus came!

So when John was knocking ninety, speculation intensified and the air was filled with anticipation of an imminent Parousia! Some left their crops unsown and unreaped. Some deserted their families and neglected their houses. So the Gospel writer felt it was high time to set the record straight. 'Jesus did not say that John would not die,' he insisted. 'He said only that if John lives on until I come, what business is that of yours?'

Such beliefs are held sincerely. That makes them all the more damaging. Apartheid is held by many sincere people as a divinely ordained order of society. This kind of thing usually happens when law is exalted above love, doctrine above relationships, and orthodoxy is mistaken for faith.

Christianity is not about speculation and theory. It is about loving relationship, obedience and real life.

The main reason we 'go off on such a tangent' is that it avoids the real and costly demands of discipleship. Sure, it is done unconsciously. It is a way of avoiding the 'follow me' demand. We take a word of Jesus, and rationalise it for our own comfort or prestige. Historically this has led to crusades, inquisitions and the proliferation of cults. Each claims the authority of the divine word.

But Jesus relentlessly brings us back to the issue, as he did with Peter. When the first disciples wanted to speculate about the time for the kingdom to come he said bluntly, 'It isn't for you to worry about times and seasons. These are set by the Father's authority. Here's the real issue -- you are to be witnesses to me. Here, first, then beyond. And now!'

We must not build on what Jesus didn't say. We know what he did say, both to Peter and to us: that is -- 'Follow me'!

Happy are the simple followers of Jesus Christ who have been overcome by his grace, and are able to sing the praises of the all-sufficient grace of Christ with humbleness of heart. Happy are they who, knowing that grace, can live in the world without being of it, who by following Jesus Christ, are so assured of their heavenly citizenship that they are truly free to live their lives in this world.

Happy are they who know that discipleship simply means the life which springs from grace, and that grace simply means discipleship. Happy are they who have become Christians in this sense of the word. For them, the word of grace has proved a fount of mercy.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

If we were willing to learn the meaning of real discipleship -- and actually become disciples, the church in the West would be transformed, and the resultant impact on society would be staggering.

David Watson

History is a distillation of rumour.

Thomas Carlyle, History of the French Revolution

Rumour is a pipe/ Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures/ And of so easy and so plain a stop/ That the blunt monster with uncounted heads/ The still-discordant wavering multitude/ Can play upon it.

William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2

Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Lord, when I confess you as the truth, I become painfully aware that there are mechanisms within my being which are there for my protection. They protect me from emotional overload. But I have learnt, ever since I was little, to use them for self-protection. I can shut off unpleasant and demanding thoughts, I can rationalise my own actions and words, I can even convince myself that what I think, believe and do is your will and command. If I were totally honest and open, I would have to admit that many of them are self-justification for my own will. I don't always read your word deeply and honestly enough, I put words into your mouth, I argue from your silences.

I don't do this to be evasive or dishonest. At least, not consciously or deliberately. It happens because, like Peter, I am too afraid to face up to what Jesus is really saying to me.

It's more comfortable to develop theories -- even theologies -- which enable me to spiritualise your demands. It eases my conscience when I commit myself to doing something which is good -- but which is often a substitute for the best.

The words of yours I most need to hear are clear. They are not veiled in mystery. They are really too clear for my comfort.

But, like you did to Peter and to the rest of your followers, you relentlessly bring me back to the central issue. One by one you knock away the props of my excuses and rationalisations until it is again just you and me facing each other. No theories, no institutions, no programs, no techniques, no excuses and no bypaths open -- nothing in between. And it is then that I am compelled to hear your two most disquieting words -- 'Follow me'. I can no longer say, 'Lord, what about him? or her?' That's none of my business. I must follow. Please help me to be honest and faithful in my following.

And above all, remind me that following you also means being with you. And you in me. Following you means being in your presence, with your companionship, drawing on your strength.

May it be so today -- in all my tasks and responsibilities, small or large. Amen.

A Benediction

May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you perfect in all goodness so that you may do his will. And may he make of us what he would have us be through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21 -- NEB

Rowland Croucher, ed., High Mountains, Deep Valleys (Albatross/Lion), chapter 46