♦ ♦ ♦   December 2014   ♦ ♦ ♦


The Holy Incarnation


What we’re getting ready for during Advent is the Holy Incarnation – regardless of what the merchandizers tell us. But  what’s that? Well, it’s certainly not the birthday of Jesus – because there never was a time when he wasn’t. For he was there from the beginning, creating the world (John 1:2-3; Colossians 1:16-17;

Hebrews 1:2). So what happened at the first Christmas, if not the birth of Jesus?


Romans 8:3 tells us – God sent “his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.” So that’s it! At Christmas, God’s Son took on sinful human flesh – that’s what happened at his odd, unusual, miraculous, virginal non-birth, birth in Bethlehem. And he did that in order “to be sin who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21), so that he could bear “our sins in his body” on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). And that bearing of sins means being “punished” for them in our place, as Luther repeatedly notes (Luther’s Works 17:224; 42:9; 26:279, 284 – as well as 13:323, 17:223, 22:167, 27:261, 28:264) – but which many Christians scoff at today.


So ponder, pray and fast over these points during Advent – Jesus taking on of sinful flesh in a non-birth, birth, in order to be punished for our sins. That’s how you get ready for Christmas.  


Pastor Marshall


My Luther Teacher


Gerhard O. Forde (1927-2005)


By Pastor Marshall

Dr. Forde’s widow, Marianna Forde – herself a Yale PhD in French Literature (74) – has just published a biography of her husband, Gerhard O. Forde: A Life. It is mostly an intellectual biography – made up of her summaries of his major writings. One of my favorite lines is: “In preaching a sermon, Gerhard thinks… it is better not to start with a discussion of relevance and get lost in that, but to lead from the text” (101). One reason for this is that it is “never a safe place” to let our salvation rest in our “own hands” [M. L. Nygard, The Missiological Implications of the Theology of Gerhard Forde (2011) 203]. That’s because Forde was “seized [by] a persuasion respecting the sovereignty of a God who has acted supremely in the death of the ‘Man of His Own Choosing’” [By Faith Alone: Essays on Justification in Honor of Gerhard O. Forde (2004) 289n].

     I studied Luther with Dr. Forde in the 1970s. A paper I wrote for one of those classes, dated May 29, 1974, “Luther’s Two-Factor Hermeneutic,” was later published in the first series of the Lutheran Quarterly 28 (February 1976) 54-69. I still have that class paper with Dr. Forde’s three pages of hand written comments. Included in those comments he writes:

An excellent, well written and argued paper. The research and notes are especially appreciated. At least you show that there are a number of problems that would have to be worked through carefully. As indicated, however, there are several places, at least, where I think I would differ…

One uses the same system as the scholastics and attempts to best them only by the strength of his assertions about grace. Luther would therefore, I think, be against the multiplication of fictional entities – which is why, I expect, he would make no distinction between grace and salvation – and why, I think, it would be a mistake to put what he is doing in the camp of classical semantics as I understand it – although I don’t confess to much expertise in that direction. But there are, no doubt, further problems that would have to be worked out here relative to the distinction between thinking under the law, and under the gospel.

From among many biographical tidbits in Marianna’s wonderful book, we read about – his guitar playing (41, 183), his favorite boyhood hymn, “Jesu So Sweet, Jesu So Mild” (25), his later love for A. E. Housman’s poem, ‘When I Was One-and-Twenty” (11) and the hymn, “In the Bleak Midwinter” (56) – as well as his gravestone epitaph: “In Christ Shall All Be Made Alive” (225).


What We’re Supposed to Be


Shakespeare on Being Human


By Pastor Marshall


Once again I’m looking into Harold Bloom’s, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998) for congenial secular clues for being truly human.

     Last month I looked at Falstaff (on exuberance) and the one before at Hamlet (on inner turmoil). This month I want to note Shakespeare’s key female character, Cleopatra. Her greatness is given by Octavius at her death: “she looks like sleep, as she would catch another Antony in her strong coil of grace” (Anthony and Cleopatra V.ii.344-46). This catching coil stands for the “estranging” “fascination” (569) at the heart of humanity – when we’re at our best.

    That luring quality – or “vitality” (564) – corresponds to, I believe, the light that we are to shine forth into the world (Matthew 6:14-16). We are to be heralds or “ambassadors” of something greater than ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:20) – which brightens the world and is thereby fascinating. We must not cower under the weight of this assignment – but see in it instead

why we “cumbereth” the earth in the first place (Luke 13:7, KJV). In this role there’s no room for humility (559) – as Luther himself knew (LW 23:330).

    Bloom sees a “quasi-divinity” in this feature of Cleopatra (556) – and so too the Christian is obligated to let the light of Christ himself (John 8:12) shine through his or her life. This will stretch each and every one of us – but that is as it should be (Philippians 3:13-14). But on the other hand, in as much as Cleopatra constitutes “a great poem” in this play (559) – we must not think that if we only bring a little bit of fascination into the world, we’re only failures (LW 24:233).

     Be sure to share this with your friends . . . and any public school teachers you may know.





President’s Report...by Larraine King












These are just a sampling of the first lines of the Advent hymns that appear in LBW #22-#38.  One thing the Advent hymns have in common is that they emphasize action words.  So while Advent is a penitential season of preparation and quiet prayerful study, it doesn’t mean we don’t take steps to put our deepened and strengthened faith into action, made practical.  The book of James chapter 2 verses 14 to 26 give lots of food for thought.  Combined with studying and praying the Advent hymns, this makes a very rich devotional preparation for the coming of Emmanuel.

    Christmas liturgies during the Twelve Days of Christmas begin on December 24th with the 11pm Christmas Eve service of lessons, carols, and Holy Eucharist, include Christmas Day, and December 26th through December 28th.  Add them to your calendar.  You will be blessed as you focus on the meaning of the Christmas season.

    The Sunday School students will celebrate Advent on Sunday December 14th at 9am in the parish hall with an Advent Faire.  They will make seasonal crafts and enjoy holiday goodies.  Everyone is welcome to join in and help. 

    We are continuing our holiday food collection drive through the end of December for the West Seattle Food Bank.  Hunger is always uncomfortable, but it is especially painful during the holidays when everyone is emphasizing reveling and celebrating with excess, and you’re not sure you even have enough food to make a simple everyday meal.  We who have so much should make every effort to feel the pain of those who have so little.  Our compassion for others should impel us to help alleviate their misery.  So remember your food donations every time you go to the grocery store and share your wealth when you come to worship!

    Donations are being accepted until December 14th for Compass Housing Alliance.  They are in need of new sweatshirts (sizes L, XL, & XXL in dark neutral colors with the tags on the items), underwear, flip-flops, hats, scarves, and gloves.  Gift cards in denominations of $5 to $25 for fast food restaurants, coffee shops, Target, grocery stores are also needed.  Small (i.e. travel size) size new toiletries are always needed.  Leave your donations in the office.

    It is almost time for the 6th annual St. Nicholas Faire.  On Sunday, December 7th from 4pm to 7pm, the parish hall will be transformed and as we shop for gifts to give family and friends, sip spiced cider, eat delicious food, and taste Maryhill wine, we will be sharing our wealth with the West Seattle Food Bank and the West Seattle Helpline.  One of the wonderful side benefits is that we get to have a fun party that raises money for those in need.  Come and join the celebration!

    The council continues to monitor and deal with the growing budget shortage.  This is difficult for all of us.  We want to pay our staff well for the outstanding service they provide.  We want to make sure our facility is in good repair and maintained for the future prevention of problems.  And we want to extend our ministry by giving to those in need.  But this all takes money to do a proper job of it.  And if the funds are not there, we are required to cut expenses to make the books balance.  Please continue to pray about stewardship and your personal giving to the church.  We are Christ’s presence in the world and each member is needed to evidence the wholeness of His body.  Whatever each of can do to add a little extra to the church funds, will make a difference.

    There were some encouraging results from the recent Pledge Card Drive.  There were 60 pledge cards sent out.  Of those 46 were returned, and of those returned, 45 member units pledged for 2015 a total of $165,044.  This is an increase from 2014 of $8,884 or just over $170 per week.  This will help the Budget and Finance Committee create a budget for 2015, which will be reviewed and voted on at the annual meeting on January 25, 2015.  Thank you to everyone who pledged for next year. 

    As we enter the Advent season and prepare for Christmas, pray that our commitment and devotion to our church will strengthen and grow.  Remember those who are in need, locally and around the world.  Donate regularly to the Food Bank.  Give money to the Helpline, El Camino de Emmaus, the Agape fund, and Gospel for Asia.  Find practical ways to help neighbors in your area who are in need.   Pray to be a blessing in your community, wherever you are.  Sounds like a lot to do, but we must always remember what our Lord has done for us, and live our lives from that vantage point.  We are the Lord’s witnesses in this world.  Purpose to be faithful and true representatives of Jesus Christ.  Share the love He inspires in us.  Give as He gave so freely to us.








Plumbing the Depths


Robert W. Jenson’s Metaphysics

By Pastor Marshall

In this column I continue to explore Robert W. Jenson’s new book, Theology as Revisionary Metaphysics: Essays on God and Creation. This month I want to deal with how he regards the basic distinction between the Creator and his creatures.

Jenson begins by noting his dissatisfaction with all of the traditional ways of construing this distinction – infinity verses finitude, eternal verses temporal (156), transcendent verses imminent (157), omnipotent verses limited, and whether or not essence implies existence (158).

Jenson wants to go beyond these conceptual “pairings” (159) and stress instead the Biblical story of creation. There we learn that “what is other than God necessarily has God as its final and formal cause. Its being must be participation in God who is Being… And moreover, its salvation must be return to God, reunion of its shared being with Being.” In this story we see our basic dependence on God for our life and breath (Psalm 104:29)

But Jenson sees a problem here: “an entity that… emanates from God and so is drawn back to God, must if left to itself seek to melt into God” (159) – which would be idolatry (161). As Creator, God, however, “takes a certain preventative action” against this melting back into himself (159). The way God does this is in Christ Jesus, who is a “unitary agent who is… both Creator and creature,” in whom we see “two very different agencies.” Nevertheless, the “Gospels themselves depict only one” (160). If we deviate from this union, it then is “blurred’ and we’ll have to “posit some mediation between the two supposed agents,” which leads us into a dreaded “middle realm.”

But in the Bible story we cannot do this – we “cannot sort out what God does and what creatures do so as to obtain two stories” about the one incarnation (161). Christ must be our guide here, for he alone is “not intimidated by foreign notions of the difference between God and not-God’ – thereby stopping “our desire to melt into God” and become idolatrous (161). Therefore, Christ – who is fully divine and fully human – is our only true protection and defense of the basic Biblical “difference between Creator and creature.”

Use this argument when contemplating how this all gets mixed up in Romans 1:24-25 – thanking God all the way for Theology as Revisionist Metaphysics.




A Matter of the Heart


What shall I give him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

If I were a wise man, I would do my part;

Yet what I can I give him ― Give my heart.


                                                     -Christina Rossetti

                                                                                     “In the Bleak Mid-Winter”


These poignant words conclude a moving Christmas poem by Christina Rossetti that has been set to music as both a choral anthem and a Christmas carol.  What struck me when remembering it recently, was what does it mean to “…give my heart”?  And isn’t stewardship really a matter of the heart?  We each bring our unique gifts to the altar along with our tithes – like the shepherd would bring a lamb and the wise man his expertise.  But more importantly, what is behind our gift?  Where is our heart?  Do we give because we are taught and encouraged to do so?  Or do we give because we are so moved by what our Savior did for each of us that we just can’t help ourselves as an expression of our thanksgiving to God?  Do we give because we are afraid of negative consequences if we do not give?  Or do we give because Jesus Christ has changed our hearts, and we have become new creatures in Christ?  Jesus tells us that where our treasure is there will our heart be also.   Let’s examine our hearts and learn what they hold near and dear, and then let our gratitude for all of our heavenly Father’s blessings impel us to share our treasures generously and without reservation. 

Church Council


December Book

With the Mind:  Readings in Contemporary Theology

3-5 pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, December 27th

The book for December is The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (2008), by Timothy Keller, a prominent Presbyterian minister in New York City. This book gives orthodox (xiv) reasons for believing in God – which has made him the most successful evangelists on the east coast. He believes his arguments are needed in a world that is “both more religious and less religious at the same time” (x, xvi). He also notes that our doubts cannot be ignored (for blind faith is bad, xix) because “faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it” (xvii). For an example, see how he opposes the supposed unfairness of hell, in light of Romans 1:24 (82).


     A copy of this fascinating little book on overcoming doubt is in the church library. If you would like to purchase one for yourself, contact Pastor Marshall. Feel free to attend our meeting when we discuss how to combat doubt in our Christian lives.



Compass Housing Alliance is in need of Christmas gift items for their housing centers for both men and women. Listed here are the items we will be collecting over the next couple of weeks: gift cards in $5 to $25 increments for fast food restaurants, coffee shops, Target and grocery stores; new sweatshirts (L, XL, XXL sizes with the tags on), underwear, flip-flops, hats, scarves and gloves (in dark neutral colors). New toiletries in small sizes are always needed. Please leave your donations at the office. The items collected will be delivered after Sunday, December 14th.

SACRAMENT OF PENANCE:  Saturday, December 20th, 3-5 pm.

CHRISTMAS CAROLING PARTY:  Friday, December 26th, meet at Christo’s on Alki at 5:00 pm for a no host meal.  Then go caroling, to shut-ins in the congregation.  Everyone is welcome to come along.  Please sign up on the list that is posted in the lounge.

FOOD BANK COLLECTION suggested donation for December is holiday foods.  And, don’t forget to bring a can of food to the St. Nicholas Faire!

2015 FLOWER CHART:  The new chart will be up toward the end of the month.  Sign up early for the best choice of dates.  Also, we still need a couple more people to sign up for our beautiful Christmas flower display.

PASTOR MARSHALL’s next Koran Class starts on Thursday, January 8th.  Call the office if you plan to attend.




Sunday, December 7th from 4pm to 7pm


In a less than a week we will be gathering in the “transformed” Parish Hall to celebrate St. Nicholas Day by hosting an event to commemorate the generous spirit of St. Nicholas.  His many acts of charity are legendary.  All proceeds from this Faire will be donated to the West Seattle Food Bank and the West Seattle Helpline.


Here’s a sampling of the gift baskets that will be available to bid on…….


Art supplies                    Children’s activity books                    Spiderman

Beer & wine                   Bubbles & water balloons                   Hello Kitty

Baking                            Cocktail glasses & shaker                   Gardening

Crockpot                                  Sounders gear                           Pasta & BBQ

Seahawks stuff                 Teen & tween novels                       Lavender

Christmas china                     Holiday coffee & tea                   Cars & Planes

Games                      Maryhill award winning wines                 Puzzles


Plus gift certificates to many local restaurants and businesses like JAKS, Elliott Bay Pub & Brewery, Caffe Ladro, Husky Deli, Junction Hardware, NW Art & Frame, Curious Kidstuff, Metropolitan Market, QFC, Safeway, West Seattle Nursery, Great Harvest Bakery, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Pier 1 Imports, Barnes & Noble, Target, ETC!!!          

But in order for it to be a success, we need every member to participate and commit to helping in some manner.  The sign-up sheets were in the hall between classrooms C & D during the month of November.  If you missed them and still are able to help in some way, please contact me (Larraine 206-937-6740).  We have tried to make contributing approachable and within reach. There are a variety of ways each of us can help, from money donations (make checks payable to First Lutheran Church of West Seattle, and note it be given to the St. Nicholas Faire), homemade baked goods, apple cider, and help during the Faire.  But the most important way to support this event is to come and bring your family, friends and neighbors, and do your Christmas shopping. 

The St. Nicholas Faire has a dual purpose – it benefits two very deserving extended ministries, and it allows us to have a “party” together with family and friends – while supporting our neighbors in need in our community.  Now that’s a WIN! WIN!  So please plan to come and join in the celebration.   It’s going to be a great time.  Don’t miss it!


                                                                                               Larraine King, Church Council



Extended Ministries for December




We have one simple message this month…….







Your Donation of Food


Please Bring One Item

Per Person Every Sunday



 The Season of Electronic Giving

This holiday season, we thank everyone who has supported First Lutheran Church of West Seattle this past year with their time, talent and financial contributions and look forward to support from all of our members in the year ahead. If you need a convenient way to make regular offerings or if you plan to make an additional gift before the end of the year, we encourage you to check out our electronic giving options. As the pace of life speeds up, especially around the holidays, you may find electronic giving a most welcome way to make contributions. Contact the church office for more information.



Genesis 3:24

Monthly Home Bible Study, December 2014, Number 262

The Reverend Ronald F. Marshall


Along with our other regular study of Scripture, let us join as a congregation in this home study. We will study alone then talk informally about the assigned verses together as we have opportunity. In this way we can "gather together around the Word" even though physically we will not be getting together (Acts 13.44). (This study uses the RSV translation.)

We need to support each other in this difficult project. In 1851 Kierkegaard wrote that the Bible is "an extremely dangerous book.... [because] it is an imperious book... – it takes the whole man and may suddenly and radically change... life on a prodigious scale" (For Self-Examination). And in 1967 Thomas Merton wrote that "we all instinctively know that it is dangerous to become involved in the Bible" (Opening the Bible). Indeed this word "kills" us (Hosea 6.5) because we are "a rebellious people" (Isaiah 30.9)! As Lutherans, however, we are still to "abide in the womb of the Word" (Luther's Works 17.93) by constantly "ruminating on the Word" (LW 30.219) so that we may "become like the Word" (LW 29.155) by thinking "in the way Scripture does" (LW 25.261). Before you study, then, pray: "Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in Our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen" (quoted in R. F. Marshall, Making A New World: How Lutherans Read the Bible, 2003, p. 12).

Week I. Read Genesis 3.24 noting the word guard. Why does the entry to the tree of life in paradise have to be guarded? On this read Genesis 2.17 noting the words eat and die. Is this guard at the entry way, then, part of the punishment for disobeying God? If so, how so? On this read Deuteronomy 13.6-9 noting the line nor shall your eye pity him. This means no second chances – and so the entry must be shut, barred and guarded. Is this overly cruel and harsh? On this read Romans 11.22 noting the words severity and fallen. Read also Hebrews 9.27 noting the line die once, and after that comes judgment. Once warned, then, is apparently enough – then punishment kicks in with no exceptions. So if paradise is closed shut like this, is all hope then taken away? On this read 1 Peter 1.3-5 noting the words hope, heaven, guarded and faith. Here we see that the hope from paradise gives way to the hope that is in heaven. On this read Philippians 4:20-21 noting the words heaven and await.

Week II. Read again Genesis 3.24 noting the line a flaming sword which turned every way. Why are these theatrics used? On this read John 3.19 noting the words love and darkness. This defiant love won’t take no for an answer. Read also on this Hebrews 3.13 noting the words hardened, deceitfulness and sin. This verse also helps us see the defiance in sin. Read as well Genesis 32.26 noting the words not and unless. All sinners struggle with God like this – making demands of him. Why do we think we can prevail against the Almighty God – and force our way back into paradise? On this read John 12.28-29 noting the play between the two opposing words thundered and angel. So is it because God isn’t obvious that we feel free to struggle with him and push against his will and ways in the world? On this read Exodus 7.1-13 noting the words as, God, wonders, prove, same and listen. Why isn’t God clearer? On this read Romans 1.20 noting the word clearly, and 2 Corinthians 4.4 noting the word blinded. So whose fault is it that God isn’t obvious?

Week III. Reread Genesis 3.24 noting the line he drove man out. Were we forced out of paradise or did we want to get away ,any way, and explore new territories? On this read Genesis 3.8 noting the word hid. This looks like Adam and Eve liked being in paradise and didn’t want to leave – or at least not get caught, which would mean that they would have to leave. On this possibility, read Luke 12.19 noting the word ample and ease. Because of that proclivity in us, paradise would be a congenial place for Adam and Eve to live. So what was it like to be thrown out of paradise? On this read Matthew 25.1-13 noting the words behold, feast, shut and open. Here is a picture of excitement and disappointment, wisdom and foolishness, feasting and sorrow, welcoming and missing out. For another such picture, read Matthew 7.21-23 noting the words declare and depart. Why shouldn’t we be able to stay if we want to? On this read Hebrews 10.26-31 noting the words fearful, fury, worse, vengeance and repay. What requires this severity? On this read Romans 7.12 noting the line the law is holy… just and good – anything but forgiving. Does that explain it?

Week IV. Read Genesis 3.24 one last time noting the line the tree of life. What does this tree give? On this read Revelation 22.1-2 noting the words leaves and healing. What do these leaves heal? On this read Revelation 21.4 noting the words crying, pain and death. What kind of life is this where death and pain are all gone? On this read John 10.10 noting the word abundantly. What is this like? On this read John 5.26 noting the line life in himself. What does that mean? On this read Romans 6.9 noting the line death no longer has dominion. When that dominion is gone, life is made irrepressible and resilient. On this life, see John 17.3 noting the line this is eternal life [knowing] the only true God. Is this tree still in Eden? On this read John 11.25 noting the I am expression. Is Jesus its replacement? 



Please join us!



Christmas Eve

December 24, 2014

      11:00 pm A Liturgy of Lessons, 

            Carols & Holy Eucharist



Christmas Day

December 25, 2014

      10:30 am The Holy Nativity of Our Lord, Festival Eucharist, nave



St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr

December 26, 2014

11:45 am Holy Eucharist, chapel



St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

December 27, 2014

11:45 am Holy Eucharist, chapel



The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

December 28, 2014

  8:00 am Holy Eucharist, chapel

10:30 am Holy Eucharist, nave


To end the 12 days of Christmas be sure to join us on –



The Day of Epiphany

January 6, 2015

11:45 am Holy Eucharist, chapel




Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.

Dorothy Ryder, Emma Sagmoen, Evelyn Coy, Sam, Nancy, Kim and Kevin Lawson, Jim Coile, Kyra Stromberg, Nora Vanhala, Mary Goplerud, Michael Nestoss, Cynthia Natiello, Clara Anderson, Leah Baker, Peggy & Bill Wright & Wendy, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Cameron Lim, Ion Ceaicovschi, Luke Bowen, Tabitha Anderson, Kendel Jones and her Family, Robin Kaufman, Rosita & Jim Moe, Dano, Karen & W. Erick, John Bertelsen, Marie & Rick Collins, Karen Klein, Dee Grenier, The Rev. Bill Hampton, Jeanie Goodwin, Lauren Kinney, Judy Earle, Jeff & Dolly Shale, Nicky & Thomas Alvord, Kristine and Ové Varik, Ken Sharp, Jack Garon, Brian Mangon, James Stojack, Dee Grenier, The Johnny Tarrant family and those suffering from and fighting the Ebola virus.     Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them joy:  Clara Anderson, Donna Apman, Pat Hansen, C. J. Christian, Louis Koser, Anelma Meeks, Dorothy Ryder, Lillian Schneider, Crystal Tudor, Nora Vanhala, Vivian Wheeler, Peggy & Bill Wright.

     Pray for our bishops Elizabeth Eaton and Brian Kirby Unti, our pastor Ronald Marshall, our deacon Dean Hard and our cantor Andrew King, that they may be strengthened in faith, love and the holy office to which they have been called.

   Pray that God would give us hearts which find joy in service and in celebration of Stewardship.  Pray that God would work within you to become a good steward of your time, your talents and finances.  Pray to strengthen the Stewardship of our congregation in these same ways. 

    Pray for the hungry, ignored, abused, and homeless this Advent & Christmas.  Pray for the mercy of God for these people, and for all in Christ's church to see and help those who are in distress. 

    Pray for our sister congregation:  El Camino de Emaus in the Skagit Valley that God may bless and strengthen their ministry.  Also, pray for our parish and it's ministry.

    Pray that God will bless you through the lives of the saints: Saint Thomas, Apostle; Saint Stephen, Deacon and Martyr; Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist; and The Holy Innocents, Martyrs.

 A Treasury of Prayers


Dear Lord God, I offer up to you my money. It scares me, for it does not speak about all that it hides in its creases – all the poor fellows who killed themselves for it to have a little pleasure with it. It paid for both a baptismal party somewhere and also the death of a child in some mother’s womb. Thank you, Lord, for all the joy it provides, and grant your forgiveness for all of the harm it has also done. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


                                       [For All the Saints (ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols., IV:1158, altered]