Preacher: The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

I was somewhat surprised the other day to see two articles advertised in national newspapers. The first ‘How will the war in Ukraine affect house prices?’ The second. ‘How will the conflict with Russia affect our household bills?’ Extraordinary. I dare say the war will affect our economy in a variety of ways, but when you see what is going on in Ukraine at the moment, it feels like an extremely inappropriate response. Pregnant women being killed by bombs – not really equivalent to the increased price of a flat.

People respond very differently to bad news – it can bring out the best in us and the worst. A desire to help and reach out to others, as many are doing now. Or a concern for how its going to affect me, forgetting about the far worse suffering of others.

Its quite interesting in the gospels to reflect how Jesus’s disciples responded to the bad news he told them about his impending trial, scourging and crucifixion. To be honest, it’s a bit disappointing.

You’ll remember that Peter, when Jesus warned him about what was to happen responded with denial ‘No Lord, this must never happen to you!’ Denial was followed by empty promises ‘I will never abandon you’ and all the others nodded their heads in agreement. Well meant at the time, but ultimately rather hollow, as most of them abandoned Jesus at the critical moment he needed them the most. So, bad news was met with denial and abandonment.

Today’s gospel gives an alternative response which is almost worse. Jesus tells the Twelve the bad news again, he is to be handed over to be condemned to death, mocked, scourged and crucified.
The response from James, John and their mother is to ask, if the situation is so bad, what can they get for themselves out of it before it is too late? They’ve heard about a kingdom of some kind, and want to secure preferment in advance. It’s a pretty crass response, but Jesus, instead of being understandably hurt or angry, is gentle and gracious in his response. He explains that there is no fast track to glory, authority or ambition in the kingdom of God. Its about being prepared to accept suffering on the way, its about loving service rather than lording it over others. If you really want to follow me, he says, ‘can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?

It was Jesus’s female disciples who seemed to have been a bit more on message in response to Jesus’ impending death, during and after it. Mary of Bethany, in John’s gospel, anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume, as he put it, getting him ready for his burial. Loving service, no words necessary. The women stood by the cross, in solidarity not running away like those other disciples who promised the earth. Mary the mother of Jesus drank the most bitter of cups as she watched her son tortured to death.
And the women came to the tomb on Easter Day, to anoint the body of Jesus to give him dignity after an undiginified death, only to find that he had risen.

When bad news comes, and there is a lot of it around at the moment, may we both give and receive, not empty words, or self seeking, but instead loving service, prayerful solidarity in pain, and hope in the one who rose again on the third day, the best news ever. Amen.

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

In the midst of life we are in death. To whom may we look for help, but from you Lord?

If the last few years and the last week have taught us anything, it is that we cannot take life for granted. Pandemic, war, and who knows what else might lie around the corner. The precious spark that animates this bundle of cells is fragile. It can be infected or blown to smithereens at the whim of a rampant virus or a meglamaniac. And today, Ash Wednesday, is a powerful reminder of our mortality. Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. We don’t always want to be reminded that we are just passing through this planet. Eternal youth is one of the Gods of our age. To delay aging and death is the holy grail of many industries, quite a few of them round the corner in Harley Street.

But lest we think these bones, this flesh is immortal, Genesis reminds us of our impermanence; that God formed us from the dust of the ground and breathed life into our nostrils. That is why he loves us. Psalm 103 reminds us that the Lord has compassion for those who fear him, for he knows how we were made, he remembers that we are dust.
Coming to terms with our mortality may give us pause for thought. It may make us reassess our priorities. But ultimately I suggest, it is lifegiving. It need not make us gloomy. Instead, THIS Lent is one for treasuring the life that God has given us. Those of us who begin THIS Lent have survived a deadly disease. We thank God and remember those who did not. THIS Lent we are inspired by the courage and spirit of the Ukranian people in the face of mortal danger. They have the courage to defend their lives and their freedom. .

It is BECAUSE life is limited and often threatened, that we appreciate beauty, joy, friendship, study, health, faith, in the years of pandemic and approaching war. It is BECAUSE life is limited that Lenten disciplines can be life giving. By adding additional prayer time, we nurture our relationship with the Lord. By attending to our consumption, we cherish our bodies and our planet. By giving more, we show love to our brothers and sisters. Its all positive stuff!

And so this Lent, I have three suggestions. Treasure, pray and give. Treasure the things that give you life. Intentionally, intensively, thankfully. Pray fervently for the peoples of Ukraine.
Give money or goods to help refugees. Treasure, pray, give. All life giving, all Lenten.

To end, a poem. Blessing the Dust by Jan Richardson

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if you all had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners

or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial

did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning

This is the moment
we ask for blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside of the soil of
this sacred earth.

So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are

but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff

of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside of the smudge
we bear.

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

One of my favourite jazz singers is the late great Ella Fitzgerald. A great classic of hers is Stormy Weather and the words were going around my mind as I sat down to write this.
“Life is bad, gloom and misery everywhere, stormy weather, just can’t get my poor self together, I’m weary all the time.”

Hot on the tail of two years of pandemic, we have endured this month three powerful storms that have been causing havoc throughout the country; the clean up operation will take months. Following the natural storms, we now face the dark clouds of conflict as Europe stands on the brink of war. Not a small local conflict in a remote outpost but in one of the largest countries in Europe. And there are implications for us in London – sometimes called Londongrad because of the amount of dubious money that is invested here. There are implications for our whole country too – cyber warfare has been carried out successfully in the past with disastrous results and may well be part of the armoury used against the allies in the approaching conflict.

Life does seem to have surprises, not always pleasant ones, around the corner. As today’s letter of St James puts it rather ascerbically, “You never know what will happen tomorrow; you are no more than a mist that is here for a little while and then disappears. The most you should ever say is: ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we shall still be alive to do this or that’”. That is indeed true, but I don’t think it means we need become fatalist or think that there is nothing we can do in response to the vicissitudes of life.

The people of Ukraine seem to be taking a positive attitude, almost like the Blitz spirit during the second world war. Grannies learning self defence, people going about their business, determined to stand up to the aggressor. I was listening to the radio this morning and heard a worshipper at the cathedral in Kiev say this, ‘if we remain calm, then Putin has not defeated us inside’.

Today the Church remembers St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, one of the first Christian martyrs who faced conflict most of his life and martyrdom when he was an old man. As the persecution of Christians began the Roman proconsul gave Polycarp the choice; renounce his faith and save his life, or die. Polycarp’s calm response was this
‘I have served him for eighty six years, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my king who saved me?’ Polycarp had an inner calm, a spirituality that sustained him in the face of terror.

We don’t know what is around the corner, but we know the one who travels with us. As Christians, we are called to trust, to tread this earth lightly, to walk in the power of the spirit, and not in our own strength or anxiety. We are also called to pray for our leaders, for those who suffer and to seek truth and integrity. As we come to God to pray for the healing of our world and for others we pray for his grace to know that healing, peace and calm in our own hearts.

Some apt words from the philosopher Lao Tze

“If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbours.
If there is to be peace between neighbours,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

70 years ago today a young woman climbed into a tree a Princess and climbed down from the tree the next day a Queen.

When Princess Elizabeth left the UK for an official trip to Kenya, she knew her father was terminally ill and that she would succeed him eventually. But it must have been a shock to hear of his death, a man she loved dearly, and instantly to know that she had acceded to the throne at the age of 25. The death of a parent can evoke a whole host of emotions; especially a parent who died aged 56, but one can only imagine the other host of emotions for a 25 year old knowing that at that moment of bereavement she had become Queen.

Attitudes to the monarchy vary in the world and in the church. But I suspect that even the most hardened republican would be prepared to admit that the Queen represents something that is in rather short supply in public life; dedication, duty, service, and personal sacrifice.

And this has been underpinned by a deep sense of Christian vocation. At her coronation, she was given an orb and sceptre both mounted by a cross – that symbolised that she is the servant of a greater king, Jesus Christ. But her biographer, William Shawcross wrote that the moment of supreme importance for her was when she was anointed with holy oil, on her hands, her chest, and her head. These were the words the archbishop used ‘As kings, priests and prophets were anointed king by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet so be thou, anointed, blessed, and consecrated Queen over the peoples whom the Lord thy God has given thee to rule and govern’.

This is a vocation that began even before her accession.  On her 21st birthday she declared that ‘all my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service’.

And it is clear that is her personal faith that has sustained her as she continues to work into her 90s. Twenty years ago she said ‘I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings,and to put my trust in God… I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel’.

And she has certainly needed to draw strength from God over the 70 years of her reign.

She has lived through war, the divorce of her three children, family estrangement, scandal, the most enormous social and political change and the bereavement of her husband during a pandemic. All this has been played out in the public view, her personal life being a subject of intense scrutiny and entertainment. While it has clearly been a life of great privilege, it is a life that has required the kind of stamina one can only guess at. Never known to be late, to lose her temper, to swear or to refuse to carry out a duty expected of her.

Her faith has shone through her Christmas broadcasts over the years, and indeed the first Easter broadcast given at the height of lockdown when she spoke powerfully of the resurrection.

Tonight’s reading from Proverbs speaks of the wisdom of God that is better than gold or jewels; it is what gives kings and rulers the insight to know what is just. And Psalm 20 reminds us that the only thing to take pride in                      is in the name of the Lord our God, who gives victory to the King.

And so on this 70th anniversary of the Accession, we give thanks for our monarch who knows these things, who gives us an example of endurance and dedication underpinned by faith. We give thanks for her service. We continue to pray for her, as every church does. And we pray too for healing for her family; healing for the hurts that have and are being experienced. And for those of her subjects who are going through similar.

God save the Queen!

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

It’s rather sad when you take the Christmas decorations down. The twinkling lights around central London have been rather beautiful. And I love walking down our road and seeing the different displays people have. It lifts your spirits on a dark night.

Many people will take them down by tonight, twelfth night. Others will keep them up until Candlemas at the beginning of February, and many churches will keep their crib until then. Last year, quite a few people decided to go back to that old medieval custom. We were in lockdown, and it felt right to keep lights twinkling to get us through the dark days of January.

But eventually, they will all have to come down. The seasons of the Church’s year move on, and we return from our holidays to work, to school, to ordinary home life. Life returns to whatever normal is these days. The shepherds had to go back to their fields, Mary had to get used to being a mum, Joseph had to go back to the carpenters shop. We may have a variety of feelings: relief at getting back into a routine, wistfulness at not being able to spend much of the day in pyjamas eating chocolates, excitement or dread at what the new year holds, a desire to pull in our belts after all that feasting, anticipating the spring and summer.

So, just as we take a deep breath, the Church gives us a season to spice things up a bit. Epiphany, which lasts for four weeks. The revealing of Jesus as the Christ, the anointed one – to the wise men, then at his baptism, then as he calls his first disciples and in the fourth week of epiphany, performing his first miracle at Cana. The babe of Bethlehem is revealed as the saviour of the world. The reading used at Midnight Mass, John 1:9 says this ‘the true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world’ – during Epiphany we see this happening.

And in today’s gospel Jesus is revealed as the true light to the cynical and scornful Nathanael. Can anything good come out of Nazareth? he scoffs in a rather urbane manner. Nazareth was an obscure little hill town, remote, and of no consequence. Not the sort of place that anyone expected the Messiah to come from. Nathanael’s friend Phillip invited him along to meet this Nazarene, Nathanael had an epiphany. His life changed through an intense personal encounter with Jesus, the light of the world. He went from cynic to disciple. The light pierced his dreariness and dryness.

As we hunker down in January in the coldness and greyness of a British winter, may God grant us all moments of epiphany. Let’s keep alert for those little twinkles of light, those moments of encounter with Jesus that will pierce our gloom.

May he shine as the true light in our lives in the year ahead.

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

Today’s gospel is Mary’s song of praise, sung from the heart, on the occasion of her visit to Elizabeth. It is an extraordinary song – full of power, challenge, beauty and vision. It is a foundational prayer for Christians; sung in great cathedrals, it also was censored in some countries as too radical, and is at the heart of liberation theology. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed by the Nazis called it ‘the most passionate, the wildest, one might even say the most revolutionary hymn ever sung’.

The Magnificat communicates, inspires and challenges on a global but also a personal level. So as we approach Christmas and New Year at such an uncertain time, what does insights does Mary’s Magnificat offer to us?

Lets take a couple of snapshots from today’s reading:

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my saviour’. Mary invites us to worship God with all our being, not just words, to lose ourselves in prayer and adoration, to sing with the heart. Come to church and belt out those carols!

‘The mighty one has done great things for me’. Mary invites us to be thankful, to count the blessings God has given us, rather than simply focus on the things that are difficult or make an idol of our anxiety. ‘Give thanks in all circumstances’ Paul encourages us to be thankful, even when it seems bonkers to do so. There is spiritual power in thanksgiving.

‘His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation’ Mary invites us to take the long view – faith is not our personal possession now, but something we inherit and pass on, and communicate to others.
‘He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly’ Mary reminds us that God’s kingdom is seen in the way we treat the vulnerable and challenge the unjust structures in our society. Could we ‘lift up’ someone over this period through kindness, generosity or advocacy?

‘He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy according to the promise he made to our ancestors’. Mary invites us to trust in God, because others have trusted and God has been shown to be faithful. Trust is a dynamic action

So – real worship, thankfulness, sharing of the gospel, generosity, radical care, and trust. In all the madness that surrounds us, lets take our inspiration from the Magnificat. And may the hope she expresses be in our hearts this Christmas and in the year ahead.

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

During Advent we get quite a bit of John the Baptist. He really is an Advent rather than a Christmas character, living rough, strange eating habits, shouting at people, telling them not what they want to  hear but that they need to change. A man of faith and of doubt. Saying exactly what he thought without fear or favour. And finally, getting his head chopped off. He is not the sort of saint you’d want to invite to Christmas lunch.

Yet John the Baptist will appear at Midnight Mass as those wonderful words from John’s gospel are read out. You’ll remember how it starts: ‘In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. It carries on: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it’.  These are eternal transcendent themes, circling around the universe.

And then suddenly, the focus narrows down like Google earth  to a point in the Judean wilderness ‘there was a man sent from God whose name was John’. John the Baptist earths the narrative. The rough, smelly, hairy man of the desert who gave the original and ultimate testimony to the identity of the eternal word in human form.

But by time we read today’s gospel, John had been imprisoned by Herod Antipas. He sat in his dungeon, alone, facing death, going through deep darkness.

The infant who had leapt in his mothers womb at Jesus’ approach.  The voice in the wilderness, the man who baptised Jesus, who proclaimed him the lamb of God. This same man now sent a question  ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ John the herald, sounding an uncertain note.

Jesus’s response is not to be hurt or to condemn such a question. Instead he sends evidence of the signs of the kingdom for which John had so longed. Jesus sends back a testimony to John, who had testified to him; ‘the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear,  the dead are raised to life, the Good News is proclaimed to the poor’.

His love and admiration for John are not shaken. To those standing around he declares: ‘I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John.’

We may approach Christmas this year with some aspects of uncertainty, fear, loss, and doubt. But like John, we don’t have to pretend, we can be real. Doubts are not sins, and are part of every Christian’s experience. Doubt is part of faith.

Jesus himself gives us the evidence of the signs of the kingdom as he gave to John; his love for us in the incarnation, his saving death and resurrection; his presence in the sacraments; his promise of the spirit to help and to guide us through life. The moments of revelation and healing and joy that come to us mysteriously, randomly.

So this Christmas, let us come to the crib, limping, hoping, doubting maybe, but whatever our mood or our feelings, forever loved and accepted.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt
Fighting and fears within without
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

            

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

Its incredible to think that each person here, and watching this began life as a microscopic dot. A fertilized egg at 3 weeks measures 0.1mm and is invisible to the human eye.  How miraculous that from those tiniest of dots grow people, of all different shapes and colours and personalities. Some who will go on to change the world, paint wonderful pictures, sing beautiful music, write books, love their families, serve God in his church, run companies and lead countries.

Tiny things can become great things. Who would have thought that one young girl could change the course of history. Today the church remembers a crucial moment in salvation history. The conception of Mary, a young Palestinian girl who changed the world.

Long before we were born, we were called by God to know, love and serve him as were all his saints. Mary’s role in the history of salvation is unique, but the same is true for each one of us, in our particular circumstance.

As Psalm 139 reminds us, God knew us and called us when we were that microscopic dot: ‘It was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’ womb… My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret.. your eyes beheld my unformed substance’. Tiny things can become great things. Just as a mighty oak grows from a little acorn.  Just as something as small as a mustard seed can grow into something substantial.

For those of us who feel our faith is small and weak, God can take the little we have and grow it. Remember the little lunch that the boy brought to Jesus, that was multiplied to feed five thousand?Remember little David facing the giant Goliath? The little we can offer God is enough for him to grow when we do it faithfully.

As the story of Advent and Christmas unfold, we will again appreciate Mary’s key role  in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And we will remember that we too are called to be faithful as she was, in whatever context we find ourselves in. We too are called to echo her words of commitment and grace: ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word’.

May Jesus grant us the courage, vision and unshakeable faith of his mother. May Our Lady and all the holy ones of God surround us, encourage and help us to magnify the lord, lift up the lowly, and fill the hungry with good things.

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

I recently had the privilege of addressing an inter faith meeting at Westminster City Hall. There were Imams, other members of the Muslim community, Sikhs, Christians of several denominations, Rabbis, and other members of the Jewish community. We were there to meet, share and discuss ways of working together and understanding one another better. One of the ways people of all the world faiths have cooperated in this area is in welcoming recently arrived Afghan refugees

I had recently watched a fabulous BBC drama series called Ridley Road, about the neo-Nazi uprising in London in the 1960’s, and the Jewish opposition to this. Towards the end of that programme a mixed heritage man and a Jewish activist are talking following the deadly race riots stirred up by the neo-Nazis. ‘We’re just the same’ says one. ‘No we’re not, we’re different, but we’re fighting the same battles’ replies the other.

Working with people of diverse faiths is not claiming that we are the same. We are different, we believe different things, and we rejoice in our diversity and the varied understandings and gifts we bring to the table. But we are fighting the same battles; secularisation, poverty, pandemic, mental health issues, the breakdown of family life, hostility towards religious people, the particular issues of living and working in London. Local faith leaders have found it has been particularly good to nurture friendships without an agenda; so that if and when a crisis or disaster happens, a quick and united response can be made.

Today, the church remembers Charles de Foucauld, Hermit in the Sahara; a man who dedicated his life to living amongst people of a different faith to him. A Christian priest, Charles de Foucauld lived and worked among the Muslim Tuareg population in North Africa and translated 6oo Tuareg poems and songs. He was deeply inspired by Islam. His belief was that it was not ‘other’religions which needed to be battled against but indifference or lack of faith. As a Christian, he perceived his calling to be a ministry of presence; proclaiming the Gospel from the rooftops not by what you say, but by how you live.

His approach to was to live with his Muslim neighbours whilst living fully as a Christian and showing Jesus through love and friendship. Whilst no brothers joined him in the monastery he built, and he only baptised 2 people, it always had local people visiting and staying, the poor, the lame and the lonely. ‘There is no saying in the gospel that more transformed my life than this one’, he said ‘whatsoever you did to one of the least of these you did it to me’

It was announced by Pope Francis recently that Charles de Foucauld is to be made a saint next year. It is somewhat poignant that during his life, success as most people would perceive it eluded him. But for him, total surrender to God’s will was the key to his life, even in the face of so called failure. ‘We are not called to be successful, but faithful’ as Mother Theresa said. We bring to God our insufficient loaves and small fish, as the disciples brought them to Jesus in today’s gospel What he does with them is his business. Whether they bear fruit in our lifetime or not.
Today there are many religious and lay congregations and organisations that have been inspired by Charles de Foucauld; in particular the little brothers and little sisters of Jesus. The spiritual influence of the little lonely hermit has spread far and wide.

May God help all people of faith to live lives of integrity that speak of the divine, and to work together for the good of all people.

The Revd Katy Hacker Hughes

Today’s reading from Daniel is dramatic, terrifying, and one of the most   memorable bits of the Old Testament. Babylon is under siege, the enemies are at the door. But Belshazzar the King is full of hubris and chooses to party instead of dealing with the situation. Horrifyingly, he uses sacred vessels from the Temple to swig his vino, and indulges in a bit of idolatry just for fun. Rather than worship God, for whom the vessels are consecrated he and his mates drink to the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone, gods who were to prove pretty useless that very night.

Right in the middle of the party, like a scene from a horror movie the fingers of a hand write those chilling words: Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin which the prophet Daniel is able to interpret thus: You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

This weekend we begin Advent, a time when traditionally the church considers the four last things; death, judgement, heaven and hell. And today’s reading from Daniel really brings home that sense of judgement. We may not be people who loot churches and swig wine out of chalices. But all of us will feel from time to time that Belshazzar’s judgement applies to us. You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Because there is not one human being upon earth to whom that does not apply. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, as St Paul wrote in Romans 3:23 When we look at our story, the story of our families, the story of human beings on this earth, we can see the image of the divine in human love, self-giving, courage, righteous acts and creativity. Inevitably, however, we can also see human beings acting with selfishness, cruelty, violence, greed, and injustice. As St Paul also says, ‘For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do’.

 

In a way, I find the doctrine of original sin strangely comforting. It is realistic about what it is to be human. We are never going to be perfect through our own efforts. That’s rather a relief – God knows we are going to mess up quite a lot.  Even in the most holy monastery, far away from any temptation, when the whole of life is centred on prayer and worship there too original sin lurks. God knows we need a saviour, and he has sent one. One who knows what it is like to be human but without sin. Jesus models to us the life that is completely free from sin, and deals with the fact that our lives are rarely like that, in his own body on the cross.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But St Paul goes straight on to say we are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

It’s a wonderful gift to know that the sins we have committed knowingly or unknowingly, in the past and in the future are forgiven when we turn to Christ. So that when are confronted with our weakness, instead of turning inwards to self-hate, we can turn upwards with gratitude and repentance, and outwards with understanding love        towards our neighbour who is in the same position.

Yes, Jesus will return as Lord and Judge, but also as our loving saviour, friend and brother. Belshazzar was condemned, by the writing on the wall and died that very night. Like him, we are all weighed in the balance and found wanting.

We however, are not condemned, because of Christ.

‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life’.

Thanks be to God. Come Lord Jesus.

Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28, Luke 21:36