“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (Read Genesis 1 and 2)
How did the heavens, the earth, and everything in them come to be? The Bible clearly tells us that the one true God — Jehovah God, who is one God, yet three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — created them out of nothing by His almighty Word. Reading on in the first two chapters of Genesis, we see He said of that which He created, “Let there be …” and “there was.”
It is as the Scriptures teach: “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth” (Psalm 33:6); and, “By faith we understand that the universe was framed by the word of God, so that things that are seen were not made out of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3).
That the LORD God created the heavens and earth and everything in them in six days is taught not only in the Genesis account but is repeated as a basis for the observance of the Sabbath in the Old Testament Scriptures. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Ex. 20:11).
The Church, which is made up of all true believers of all time, has always held to the truthfulness of the Genesis account of creation and confesses with Nehemiah the prophet: “You alone are the LORD. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and You preserve them all. And the host of heaven worships You” (Neh. 9:6). So also, in the ancient creeds still used today, believers confess: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.”
This same God, who called all things into existence by His almighty Word, has also created each one of us. He formed the first man from the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). He created the first woman from the rib of Adam (Gen. 2:18ff.); and He created and formed each one of us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16).
Not only has He created us and given us life, He sent His only-begotten Son to die for us and bear the guilt and punishment for our sins that we might have life eternal through faith in Him; and He calls us to faith through the hearing of His life-giving Word. The Bible tells us: “But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born from a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4-5); and, “You are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27).
This means that the LORD God has created you, forming you in the womb; and, even though you knew Him not because of the sin inherent in each of us through Adam’s fall (John 1:1-14; Gen. 3), He came into this world a true man to pay for your sins and make you His own, and He calls you to faith in Him through His gracious word of forgiveness and life in His Son, Jesus Christ! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
O LORD God, Creator of the heavens, the earth, and all things, thank You for making me, giving me breath, and for giving me life through faith in the Son. Graciously keep me in the true and saving faith unto life everlasting. Amen.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty Author: Joachim Neander, 1679 Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1863, alt. Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen “Erneuertes Gesangbuch,” Stralsund, 1665
1 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy Health and Salvation!
Join the full throng; wake, harp and psalter and song;
South forth in glad adoration!
2 Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Who, as on wings of an eagle, uplifteth, sustaineth
Hast thou not seen how thy desires all have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
3 Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?—
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.
4 Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee,
Who from the heavens the streams of His mercy doth send thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
Who with His love doth befriend thee.
5 Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen sound from His people again;
Gladly for aye we adore Him. Amen.
1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.
Psalm 121 is one of the Songs of Ascents — the psalms which were spoken or sung by the people of Israel as they went up to the temple in Jerusalem to worship on feast days.
1. Where do we look for help? Where was the city of Jerusalem located? What was in Jerusalem? Whose presence was sought in the temple at Jerusalem? (Remember that this psalm was used as the people ascended the hills of Judea to Mt. Zion and the site of the temple where Jehovah God served His people through sacrifices for forgiveness and with His holy Word.)
2. Who is the LORD (Jehovah God) who was worshiped at Jerusalem? What did He create?
3. Cf. Psalm 96:5 and Psalm 115:2-11. How is the LORD God so much greater than the gods worshiped by other peoples and nations in the earth?
4. How is it comforting to have the God who created the heavens and earth as our Source of help? Cf. Nehemiah 9:6 and Jeremiah 32:17.
5. What does it mean when the psalmist says that the LORD will not allow our foot to be moved or to slip? Where do we regularly pray for this? Cf. Matthew 6:13.
6. Is there ever a time when the LORD will not be attentive to our prayers? Why not? Cf. Isaiah 65:24.
7. Why can we come to the LORD God in prayer? Cf. 1 John 5:11-15.
8. What does it mean when it says the LORD is our Keeper? Cf. Daniel 5:23; Acts 17:23-28.
9. How is the LORD our shade? From what does He protect us? Cf. Psalm 91:1-8.
10. How does He protect us from all evil? Cf. Psalm 91:9-16. When things which appear evil happen to us, how does the LORD use them in our life? If God allows us to die, how are we still protected from all evil? Cf. Matthew 6:13.
11. How does the LORD preserve our soul? Cf. Philippians 1:6; John 10:27-30.
12. How does the LORD preserve our going out and our coming in from now to eternity? Cf. 2 Timothy 4:18.
Look at LSB Hymn No. 877. How does it echo the message of this psalm?
Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon- possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. Matthew 15:21-28
What right do we have to go to Jesus for help? Not only are we, for the most part, not descended from Israel, we are poor miserable sinners undeserving of God’s grace and mercy. We have no standing of our own, no basis to expect God’s Son to hear us or to help us!
As we see from Matthew 15 and Mark 7:24ff., that did not stop a Greek-speaking Syrophoenician woman from coming to Jesus for help and deliverance for her daughter who was demon possessed. She was a Gentile from the Phoenician part of Syria and not of the House of Israel, and Jesus was sent first to His own people; but she still came, asking not to take away what rightly was for the people of Israel but to eat of the crumbs which fall from Israel’s table.
This woman’s daughter was demon possessed, something we hear little of in our day though it likely still exists but is diagnosed with other names. It appears, in such cases, that the devil or one of his evil spirits takes control of a person’s body, often seeking to destroy both body and soul. She begged Jesus to cast out this demon and make her daughter whole again. And Jesus granted her petition. The demon was cast out and her daughter was made well.
While we may not be bodily possessed by the devil, the truth is that each and every one of us comes into this world under the control and sway of the evil one. Ever since the fall of Genesis 3, people are born into this world “dead in trespasses and sins, in which [they] once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1,2; cf. Psalm 51:5). The Bible tells us “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). And the Bible tells us that “the god of this age has blinded [those] who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Only Jesus, God the Son, can free us from our spiritual bondage and reveal Himself to us as the Redeemer of the world. Only Jesus can raise us up from spiritual darkness and death and free us from the control of the devil (cf. John 8:23-24; 34-36).
We are not, for the most part, of the House of Israel. Nor are we deserving that Jesus should deliver us from our bondage to the devil. But when we humbly come to Jesus in faith, what happens? God delivers “us from the power of darkness and convey[s] us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
The Bible tells us of Jesus: “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people ” (Hebrews 2:14-17).
The only-begotten Son of God took on human flesh and blood that He might obey God’s law in our stead and offer up Himself as a perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins — all that we might obtain mercy and forgiveness through faith in His name.
And God “made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself” and He brought us to trust in Christ after that we “heard the word of truth, the gospel of [our] salvation” (Ephesians 1:9,13). “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7; cf. John 5:24-26).
God graciously called us to faith in Christ Jesus through the gospel. And, when we come to Christ in faith, believing He atoned for our sins and the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:1,2), He forgives us all our sins, delivers us from the bondage of the devil and gives us new life in Him! Jesus makes us whole.
Have mercy upon us, Lord Jesus! We are unworthy sinners deserving only of wrath and punishment, but we look to You and Your sacrificial death upon the cross for mercy and forgiveness. Amen.
Psalm 55 (MEV) For the Music Director. With stringed instruments. A Contemplative Maskil of David.
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication. 2 Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint, and I murmur, 3 because of the voice of the enemy, because of the pressure of the wicked, for they cause trouble to drop on me, and in wrath they have animosity against me. 4 My heart is in pain within me, and the terrors of death have fallen on me. 5 Fear and trembling come into me, and horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! For then I would fly away and be at rest. 7 Indeed, then I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah 8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” 9 Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go around it on its walls; trouble and sorrow are in its midst. 11 Destruction is in its midst; oppression and treachery do not depart from its streets. 12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. 13 But it was you, my peer, my guide, and my acquaintance. 14 We took pleasant counsel together, and walked to the house of God in company. 15 May death surprise them, and may their lives go down to Sheol, for wickedness is in their dwellings and among them. 16 As for me, I will call on God, and the Lord will save me. 17 Evening and morning and at noon, I will make my complaint and murmur, and He will hear my voice. 18 He has ransomed my life in peace from the battle against me, for there were many against me. 19 God will hear and afflict them, even He who sits enthroned from of old. Selah Because they do not change, therefore they do not fear God. 20 My friend has set his hands against those at peace with him; he has violated his covenant. 21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but battle was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. 22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved. 23 But You, O God, will cast the wicked down into the pit of destruction; men of blood and deceitful men will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.
1 Praise to You and adoration, Blessèd Jesus, Son of God,
Who, to serve Your own creation, Came to share our flesh and blood.
Guide me that I never may From Your fold or pastures stray,
But with zeal and joy exceeding Follow where Your steps are leading.
2 Hold me ever in Your keeping; Comfort me in pain and strife.
In my laughter and my weeping Be with me throughout my life.
Give me greater love for You, And my faith and hope renew
In Your birth, Your life, and passion, In Your death and resurrection.
Thomas Hansen Kingo, 1634–1703; tr. Kristen Kvamme, 1866–1938, st. 1, alt.; tr. Christian Worship, 1993, st. 2 Public domain FREUDICHSEHR
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Confession and Absolution (1 John 1 and 2)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We Pray: O Almighty God, we confess to You that we have sinned in our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds; and we pray that You would forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness for the sake of Christ Jesus and His innocent sufferings and death upon the cross in our stead. Amen.
God’s Word assures us that “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
As a called and ordained servant of Christ, I announce to you the grace of God in Christ Jesus and forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Psalm 32 A Psalm of David. A Contemplative Maskil
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord does not count iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was changed into the drought of summer. Selah 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not conceal. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah 6 For this cause everyone who is godly will pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in the floods of great waters they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; You will preserve me from trouble; You will surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye on you. 9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule that are without understanding, that must be restrained with bit and bridle, or they will not come near you. 10 Many sorrows come to the wicked, but lovingkindness will surround the man who trusts in the Lord. 11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, you righteous one; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart!
Scripture Lesson: Genesis 3
1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the garden; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You will not eat of it, nor will you touch it, or else you will die.’ ” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that on the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasing to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every beast of the field; you will go on your belly, and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” 16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, and in pain you will bring forth children; your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 And to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ Cursed is the ground on account of you; in hard labor you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 Thorns and thistles it will bring forth for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, because out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you will return.” 20 The man called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all the living. 21 The Lord God made garments of skins for both Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 The Lord God said, “The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. And now, he might reach out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove the man out, and at the east of the garden of Eden He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned in every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Did God Really Say?
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 (Read Genesis 3)
The paradise which God created (Genesis 1-2) did not last long, for Genesis 3 tells of the temptation of the devil, a fallen angel, who came to Eve in the form of the serpent.
“Did God really say that that you should not eat from any tree of the garden?” (paraphrase) he asked, creating a question in the woman’s mind.
And when Eve explained that the prohibition and warning concerning disobedience bringing about about death — alienation and separation from God — was only in regard to the tree in the middle of the garden, the devil distorted the truth by saying, “You surely will not die! For God knows that on the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4,5). Thus, he caused her to think that perhaps God was somehow holding out on her, keeping from her and her husband something good and desirable.
Of course, this still happens every day. The devil comes to us through friends and coworkers, through the media and entertainment industries, and in our own thoughts and minds, and says, “Does God really expect you to keep all those commandments in the Bible?” And he works hard to convince us that God is trying to keep us from having fun and enjoying life, or that He is placing an impossible burden upon us, that He really doesn’t expect us to keep all of His commandments, or that breaking just a few of the commandments now and then won’t really alienate and separate us from God — after all, everybody does it.
And, like Eve, when we look at the thing we are being tempted to do, it looks good and desirable to us at the moment. We think it will be fun or pleasurable; it will work out for our good; it won’t hurt anything; no one will know.
And so, we rationalize and give in to the temptation and to our own sinful desires, and the result is death! We recognize our nakedness and guilt before God. We may attempt to cover it up or even learn to cope with it, but the guilt remains. We are afraid to stand in His presence. We would rather not hear God’s Word or walk into His house of prayer.
Why? Because our sin and disobedience, though they may have appeared to be good at the time, brought about spiritual death and separation from God. When confronted with the presence of God and His truth, we hide and seek to conceal our sin and guilt. When questioned about our sin, we make excuses and blame others.
As a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, we are all born into this world sinners — our very thoughts and desires are turned away from God and His holy commandments. What David wrote is true for each of us as a result of that first sin: “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5; Cf. Rom. 5:12). Instead of loving God, trusting Him, and desiring to honor and glorify His name, we think only of ourselves, we doubt and disbelieve God’s Word, and we seek our own honor and glory. We are born in spiritual death and are alienated from God.
That is why we so desperately need God’s pardon and forgiveness. We need Him to find us, forgive us and give us life again. And God has come to us and reached out to us in love and forgiveness. He desires to free us from our guilt and shame and give us life everlasting with Him.
He did this by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to overcome temptation and sin for us (cf. Matt. 4:1-11; Heb. 4:15) and then go to the cross to be condemned, forsaken of God and die in our stead that we might have God’s pardon and forgiveness and not be afraid of God or troubled by guilt and shame any longer. In Christ Jesus, atonement has been made and the sin of the world taken away (cf. 1 John 2:1-2); and through faith in Christ Jesus, your sin and mine are pardoned (Rom. 3:21-26; 5:1-2).
O dearest Jesus, Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy upon me, find me, and wash away the guilt of my sin in Your shed blood. And, dear Jesus, grant me a place in Your everlasting kingdom. Amen.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
Almighty and Everlasting God, You are worthy to be held in reverence by all the children of men, we give You most humble and hearty thanks for the innumerable blessings, both temporal and spiritual, which, without any merit or worthiness on our part, You have bestowed upon us.
We praise You, especially, that You hast preserved unto us, in their purity, Your saving Word and Your holy Sacraments. And we beseech You, O Lord, to grant and preserve unto Your holy Church, throughout the world, purity of doctrine, and faithful pastors who shall preach Your Word with power; and help all who hear, rightly to understand, and truly to believe Your Word. To that end, we pray Your blessing on Bishop Heiser, on our pastors, and on all the pastors of our diocese.
Be the Protector and Defender of Your people in all time of tribulation and danger and may we, in communion with Your Church, and in brotherly unity with all our fellow-Christians, fight the good fight of faith, and in the end receive the salvation of our souls.
Bestow Your grace upon all the nations of the earth. Especially do we entreat You to bless our land, and all its inhabitants, and all who are in authority. Cause Your glory to dwell among us, and let mercy and truth, righteousness and peace, everywhere prevail. To this end, we commend to Your care all our schools and pray You to make them nurseries of useful knowledge and of Christian virtues, that they may bring forth the wholesome fruits of life.
Graciously defend us from all calamities by fire and water, from war and pestilence, from scarcity and famine. Protect and prosper everyone in his appropriate calling, and cause all useful arts to flourish among us. Be the God and Father of the widow and the fatherless children, the Helper of the sick and the needy and the Comforter of the forsaken and distressed.
We pray for all those ill from the coronavirus, from other diseases or afflictions, or suffering from the effects of isolation. Grant health and healing to those ill and comfort all with the Gospel promises of forgiveness of sins and the everlasting joys of heaven through faith in Christ Jesus, Your Son and our Savior.
And as we are strangers and pilgrims on earth, help us by true faith and godly life to prepare for the world to come; doing the work which You have given us to do while it is day, before the night comes when no man can work. And when our last hour shall come, support us by Your power, and receive us into Your everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.
Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Blessing (Numbers 6:24-26)
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the LORD lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host: Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. Thomas Ken, 1637–1711 Public domain OLDHUNDREDTH