September 2019


        Ezekiel 22:26

“There is no real joy in this world except that which the Word brings when it is believed.”

[Luther’s Works 4:4]  

This Bible verse is about priests going haywire and equating the common with the holy. It stands as a constant warning because we’re always tempted to draw the unconverted into church without any initiation rites – which are deemed obtuse in spite of the harsh judgment practiced in 1 Corinthians 13:24–25. We erroneously think that by making entry into the church easy, our visitors will be more likely to hang around. 

     This verse – with its strident warning – comes to me by way of Søren Kierkegaard’s comments on Ecclesiastes 5.1 in his Christian Discourses (1848). There he writes that when coming into God’s house you are first asked “to forget your earthly need. An odd way to comfort, is it not? Instead of solicitously asking how you feel, instead of giving you advice and suggestions,…. instead of having sympathy for your earthly misery and busily remedying it, an even heavier weight is laid upon you – you are made a sinner. What is spoken of, therefore, and truly for upbuilding, is that there is a deliverance for sinners, comfort for the repentant…. Therefore the one who flees in here from the horrors outside is making a mistake – flees to something still more terrible!” (Kierkegaard’s Writings 17:172–73). And on this verse Martin Luther adds this helpful background: “In all the affairs of man and God our way is never safe unless we turn ourselves over completely to the Word and work of God and take our stand on it without any debate about it in our mind” (Luther’s Works 15:75).

     For these reasons I have dedicated my ministry to inviting people to a church struggling to be holy – and never to one content with being as common as a bus station or food market.

 Pastor Marshall




And Tithing


As we are coming into the fall, I’d like to request that we all keep the church's financial health in mind.  Consciously making the decision to tithe (to give a portion of what you receive on a regular basis) helps to make our giving more consistent.  I encourage everyone to work toward tithing to the church.  And if possible, commit to that tithing through this fall’s pledge card campaign. 

     Tithing is frequently mentioned in scriptures (Genesis 28:20-22, Leviticus 27:30, Deuteronomy 14:22, Malachi 3:8-10) and serves many purposes.   Here are just a few reasons to give and work towards a full tithe:


1)    Spiritual discipline – giving away a portion of our resources reminds us that God is our provider.

2)    Financial discipline - making a commitment to give away part of what you receive may cause you to more closely monitor how you spend your money and improve your stewardship in all things.

3)    Maintenance and care for our facilities - we have a beautiful facility, and beside general expenses for day-to-day operation, there are many maintenance costs.  

4)    Source of livelihood for our staff - we have a talented and hardworking staff whom deserve more than we are able to compensate them.  At a minimum, we need to meet our commitments to them.  

5)    Providing support for those in need - through our Extended Ministries programs.  

6)    Thanksgiving – we have much to be thankful for at FLCWS.  


     Please prayerfully consider all these things when planning your giving throughout the year. 


 “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good and his mercy endures for ever.” Psalm 106:1


                                                                                             Peter Douglass, Church Council


PRESIDENT'S Cary Natiello


It’s time for a second quarter of 2019 recap….  Year-to-date, through July 2019, we have sustained our solid financial performance.  Here are the numbers:

Total ENVELOPE GIVING was ~$140,000 (adjusted) against a budget target of ~$130,000.

Total GENERAL OPERATING EXPENSES were $55,700 against a budget target of $57,300.

This has been one of our strongest budget performance years in recent memory.  My sincere gratitude to everyone for their ongoing relentless financial support of our church.  Thanks be to God!

     Due to Dean stepping down from his role as deacon, the council has determined that we will wait until the end of the year to make any decisions about how the salary savings should be allocated.

     Our mid-year congregational meeting was on July 21, 2019.  For a mid-year meeting it was well attended.  Thank you to all who attended.  Among other things, at that meeting we approved updates and changes to our Mission Statement.


     Since my June 2019 President’s report, below is a recap of the Mass Shootings in the United States. 








August 3, 2019

El Paso, Texas




2019 El Paso shooting: Twenty-two people were killed and twenty-four were injured at a Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall. The perpetrator was taken into custody

August 4, 2019

Dayton, Ohio




2019 Dayton shooting: A gunman killed nine people and injured twenty-seven outside of a bar after he was denied entry, before being killed by police.

May 31, 2019

Virginia Beach, Virginia




Virginia Beach shooting: A gunman killed 12 people and injured four others at a city public works building. The gunman died at the scene after being shot by police.

July 30, 2019

Southaven,   Mississippi




At a Walmart store, a man killed two people then wounded a police officer before being shot by police and arrested.

July 28, 2019

Gilroy,          California




Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting: Sixteen people were shot, four fatally, including a gunman and two children, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

July 27, 2019

Brooklyn,     New York




Thirteen people were shot, one fatally, at a playground in Brownsville.[

May 7, 2019

Highlands Ranch, Colorado




STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting: Authorities responded to the STEM School Highlands Ranch, at about 1:50 pm on a report of shots fired. One student was fatally shot and eight others were injured; two suspects were taken into custody by police.

April 30, 2019

Charlotte, North Carolina




University of North Carolina at Charlotte shooting: Six people were shot, two fatally, on the last day of classes at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The student gunman was taken into custody after he ran out of ammunition.


      Members of Congress are weighing potentially bipartisan ideas to curb gun violence.  The legislative proposals under consideration include stronger background checks, “red flag” laws that prevent those threatening harm to themselves or others from buying or possessing firearms, and bans on large-capacity magazines or assault-style firearms.  Is now a good time for each of us to write our representatives in our government to support the tighter gun control laws being proposed?


     Blessings to you all.



This tough time transpired a few years after I was ordained. It was in the days when we took young people from the church on overnighters. These events were bad by design, but everyone was so desperate to keep kids in church that entertaining them in this way seemed the right thing to do. The problem, as you can imagine, was that nighttime wasn’t for sleeping, but mischief. At this event the kids wanted to see the new movie, Risky Business (1983). I had heard that it had a couple questionable sex scenes in it, but it wasn’t rated badly, so I thought it was worth considering. Plus a couple of the kids said their parents had already taken them to it and everyone liked it. After agreeing as a group on how we should proceed, we went.

          Your a Thief!

     I was surprised about the good conversations we had about the movie when we got back – approaching Luther’s admonition that we should teach our children “neither to fear death nor love this life” (LW 44:85).

     A couple days after we returned from the youth outing, I was accused by the parents who had supposedly taken their children to the movie beforehand, that I had forced the kids to see Risky Business when they didn’t want to. This problem was soon resolved after conversations with the kids and their parents cleared the air with no bad feelings.

     But I was wrong about that. At the following annual meeting, one of the parents set up their kid from that summer event to charge me with stealing money from the youth fund to buy a new copier for the church office. The idea was to drive me out of the church because I was a thief. But this was an ill-conceived hoax. A new copier had been purchased, alright, but it was paid for by approved office funds that could be easily and reliably traced. After the meeting, none of the accusers would discuss the matter. So that drama boomeranged on them. Not long afterwards, those families left the church.

     From this altercation I learned how the youth of the church can be used by their parents to run out a pastor. People can be very desperate when they hate their pastor – even to the point of using their children for nefarious ends! That’s a good lesson to learn. The other one is that youth ministry based on a pied piper model of entertainment is demonic (R. D. Martinson, Effective Youth Ministry, 1992, pp. 16–18). And that’s also a good lesson to learn. For the young of the congregation are best served by including them in the work and blessings that we all share in the church already, through our worship and extended ministries.  


Pastor Marshall


With the Mind


Readings in Contemporary Theology with Pastor Marshall

12-2 pm in the Room C, Sunday, September 15th.



Sept. 15    Landon Dowden, Exalting Jesus in Esther: Christ-Centered Exposition (2019).

Nov. 17     Richard LeMieux, Breakfast at Sally’s: One Homeless Man’s Inspirational Journey (2009).

Jan. 19      Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir (2018).


Mar. 15     Matthew Levering, Dying and the Virtues (2018).


May 17     D. Bruce Hindmarch, The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism: True Religion in a Modern World (2018).


September Book


12-2 pm in the Room C, Sunday, September 15, 2019.


The book for September is Exalting Jesus in Esther: Christ-Centered Exposition (2019), by Landon Dowden, a prominent Baptist minister in Georgia. This book tries to reclaim the Book of Esther for the Church – given that it never mentioned God in it. Dowden begins by noting seventeen indirect references to God in Esther (pp. 9–10). He also notes the centrality of Romans 8:28 in Esther – that all things work for the good (p. 8). The fact that the Jews are preserved in Esther allows for the savior eventually to come from among them (John 4:22). Dowden also sees Jesus in Esther by way of a contrast to its characters (pp. 43, 64, 102, 155, 170, 188–89).

     A copy of this important study on Esther is in the library. If you would like to purchase one for yourself, contact Pastor Marshall. Feel free to attend our meeting when we discuss how the Book of Esther points to Jesus.


Sunday Education

with Pastor Marshall


9:00 to 10:00 am, Room D


FALL SESSION I, September 8 – October 27

Luther’s Favorite Gospel: The Gospel According to Saint John

     This eight week class will study the Gospel of John – Luther’s favorite Gospel. Worksheets will be provided before every class to guide your reading.


FALL SESSION II, November 3 – December 22

The Bladensburg Peace Cross: The Supreme Court on Religious Freedom

     In this eight week class we will study the recent US Supreme Court decision, The American Legion vs. American Humanist Association (June 20, 2019). In this case the Court upheld the display of a cross on public property arguing that it didn’t violate the US Constitution’s provision on the separation of church and state. Paper copies of the decision will be available.


WINTER SESSION, January 5 – January 26

Why God Doesn’t Change: Kierkegaard’s Famous 1855 Discourse

    In this four week class we will study Søren Kierkegaard’s 1855 discourse on the changelessness of God. We will do this by reading Pastor Marshall’s analysis of it from his book, Kierkegaard for the Church (2013).



February 2 – March 29

Back From the Dead: The Prophet Elijah and Jesus

    In this eight week class we will study portions of the saga on Elijah from the Old Testament. When Jesus was dying on the cross those standing by thought he cried out to Elijah to help him (Matthew 27:46–49). This class will explore that possible connection. Each class session will be based on a worksheet of questions handed out the week before.



April 5- May 31

Luther’s Great Treatise: On Christian Freedom

    This eight week class will study Martin Luther’s 1520 treatise on Christian freedom – on the occasion of its 500th anniversary. Our text will be the new translation and annotated text by Timothy J. Wengert (2016).

Lillian Schneider on her 101st birthday,

June 19, 2019. Lillian joined FLCWS

on December 21, 1947.


Schedule for

Wednesday Bible Classes

with Pastor Marshall



Morning 10- 11:30 am

Fall: Romans                                                   Spring: Genesis

1) Romans 1.1-32       9) Romans 9.1-33          1) Genesis 1.1-3.24           9) Genesis 28.1-30.43

2) Romans 2.1-29     10) Romans 10.1-21         2) Genesis 4.1-6.22         10) Genesis 31.1-32.32

3) Romans 3.1-31     11) Romans 11.1-36         3) Genesis 7.1-10.32       11) Genesis 33.1-36.43

4) Romans 4.1-24     12) Romans 12.1-21         4) Genesis 11.1-14.24     12) Genesis 37.1-39.23

5) Romans 5.1-21     13) Romans 13.1-14         5) Genesis 15.1-18.33     13) Genesis 40.1-42.38

6) Romans 6.1-23     14) Romans 14.1-23         6) Genesis 19.1-21.34     14) Genesis 43.1-45.28

7) Romans 7.1-25     15) Romans 15.1-33         7) Genesis 22.1-24.67     15) Genesis 46.1-48.22

8) Romans 8.1-39     16) Romans 16.1-27         8) Genesis 25.1-27.46     16) Genesis 49.1-50.26


Evening 7:30 - 9:00 pm

Fall: Jeremiah                                                            Spring: Acts

1) Jeremiah 1.1-2.37         9) Jeremiah 26.1-29.32       1) Acts 1.1-2.47          9) Acts 16.1-40

2) Jeremiah 3.1-5.31       10) Jeremiah 30.1-32.44       2) Acts 3.1-4.37        10) Acts 17.1-18.28

3) Jeremiah 6.1-8.22       11) Jeremiah 33.1-36.32       3) Acts 5.1-42          11) Acts 19.1-41

4) Jeremiah 9.1-12.17     12) Jeremiah 37.1-41.18       4) Acts 6.1-8.40        12) Acts 20.1-21.40

5) Jeremiah 13.1-15.21   13) Jeremiah 42.1-46.28       5) Acts 9.1-10.48      13) Acts 22.1-23.35

6) Jeremiah 16.1-19.15   14) Jeremiah 47.1-49.39       6) Acts 11.1-12.25    14) Acts 24.1-25.27)

7) Jeremiah 20.1-22.30   15) Jeremiah 50.1-51.64       7) Acts 13.1-14.28    15) Acts 26.1-27.44

8) Jeremiah 23.1-25.38   16) Jeremiah 52.1-34           8) Acts 15.1-41         16) Acts 28-1-31

The Word of God, because it is eternal, should apply to all men of all times. For although in the course of time customs, people, places, and usages may vary, godliness and ungodliness remain the same through all the ages.


                                                        Luther’s Works 14:290


Saint Nicholas Faire

Sunday, December 15, 2019 from 1:00 to 4:30 pm


We’re working on it again!  Thank you to all who have already begun helping prepare for this annual fund raising event.  So many of you have stepped up by taking ornaments from the tree in the lounge, made your purchases, and left them to be catalogued by the next group of helpers.  Then, later they will be made into baskets for purchasing at the Faire.  At this writing, there are still many items (ornaments) to be taken from the tree and turned in.  It would be very helpful if all “ornament” items could be brought to the church by Sunday, September 22nd.  If you need assistance of any kind getting this done, please call Valerie Schorn (206-227-6290) or email her (  And please remember to put your name on the item as well as the retail value.  It takes a lot of time searching the internet to find the value of an item.  And we need that information to complete the bid sheet.

    If you would prefer, you can donate money designated to the St. Nicholas Faire and we will do the shopping.  Plus, in late November, we will be purchasing items that need to be fresh, so they need to be bought closer to the date of the Faire.  If you would like to help in this way, please let Valerie know and she can give you a list of items to choose from.   But most important, always remember that all efforts are to support, in a fun and enjoyable way, TWO very important extended ministries – the West Seattle Food Bank and the West Seattle Helpline.

   We are looking forward to having a fun afternoon of wine tasting, winning prizes at the ring toss game, snacks, conversation and fellowship, and “shopping” for holiday gifts

for friends and family.  Where else can you go so close to home to such a party?!?!?  And it all benefits two great organizations!  So plan to come and invite your neighbors and family and friends to come with you.  

     Sign-up sheets for helpers for the event will be posted in October and more details about the event will appear in The Messenger and bulletin announcements.    Please,




     We want you there!  We need you there to have this party be a good time, and raise plenty of funds to help the West Seattle Food Bank and West Seattle Helpline. 


-Valerie Schorn


Isaiah 6.4

Monthly Home Bible Study, September 2019, Number 319

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). And don’t give up, for as Luther said, we “have in Scripture enough to study for all eternity” (LW 75:422)!


Week I. Read Isaiah 6.4 noting the word shook. Martin Luther believed that this shaking is at the very heart of God’s truth – terrifying and humbling us so that we will give up on everything we formally trusted in and abandon all of our self-assurance (LW 16:71). On this read Isaiah 66.2 noting the line trembles at my word. Why can’t we be more confident and assertive before God? On this read Isaiah 30.9 noting the words rebellious and lying, and the line will not hear the instruction of the Lord, as well as Isaiah 48.4 noting the words obstinate, iron and brass. Is this too negative an assessment of us? On this read Isaiah 1.5–6 noting the words whole and no. Why are we so sick and unstable? On this read Isaiah 59.14–15 noting the two lines truth has fallen and truth is lacking. Why have we given up on the truth? On this read Isaiah 58.13 noting the line seeking your own pleasure [and] talking idly. Would truth interrupt these? On this read Isaiah 48.18–19 noting the cutting off of the words peace, righteousness and name. What do you think of that?


Week II. Read again Isaiah 6.4 noting the same word shook. What is it about God that upsets us? On this read Isaiah 5.21 noting the line woe to those who are wise in their own eyes. What’s so wrong with that? On this read Isaiah 9.17 noting the words godless, evildoer and folly. Where does that blindness lead us? On this read Isaiah 5.20 noting the switching around of the words evil and good, darkness and light, bitter and sweet. What else is upsetting? On this read Isaiah 40.21–23 noting the words grasshoppers and nought. How is it that God so dominates? On this read Isaiah 41.4 noting the words calling, first and last. Where does that verse put God? On this read Isaiah 41.11–12 noting the words war and nothing. Where does God get such power over war? On this read Isaiah 55.11 noting the words word, accomplish and prosper. How can God’s word do that? On this read Isaiah 43.3–13 noting the words holy, henceforth and hinder. So is God’s unique power intrinsic to him – and nothing more?


Week III. Reread Isaiah 6.4 noting again the word shook. What else is there about God that’s upsetting? On this read Isaiah 64.6 noting the words righteous and polluted. Why don’t our righteous deeds please God? On this read Isaiah 1.13 noting the words offerings and assemblies – both of which are commanded and good but vain. Is something more needed than objectively correct actions? On this read Isaiah 57.15 noting the words contrite and heart. What’s to be avoided here? On this read Isaiah 9.9 noting the words pride and arrogance. How is a good heart added to good behavior – in order to keep our good deeds from being polluted? On this read Isaiah 51.7 noting the words law and heart. Does this explain why God replaces perfume with rottenness in Isaiah 3.24 – perfume being superficial? Is that why the beautiful is equated with the proud and lofty in Isaiah 2.12–16?


Week IV. Read Isaiah 6.4 one last time noting again that word shook. Anything else about God’s truth that’s upsetting? On this read Isaiah 64.8 noting the words we, clay and potter. Why does that rankle us – so much so that we want to switch the words around and turn them upside down as in Isaiah 29.16? On this read Isaiah 64.8 again noting this line we are all the work of thy hand. On this read further Isaiah 43.20–21 noting the line my chosen people… whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise. This locks us into a life before God worshipping him. But that’s too confining, we say! On this read Isaiah 30.11 noting the line let us hear no more of the Holy One of Israel. Why is that the case? On this read Isaiah 30.10 noting the category smooth things. What are they? On this read Isaiah 32.9–11 noting the double mention of the words ease and complacent. Why do we want the easy way out? On this read Isaiah 24.5 noting the words polluted, transgressed, violated and broken. What do these words make us? On this read Isaiah 5.2 noting the category wild grapes. How bad is that? As bad as deeply embedded defiance. Do you agree?




On the third Saturday of each month, between 3 and 5 pm, the Sacrament of Penance is offered in the Chapel.  This brief liturgy enables people – one at a time – to confess their sin and receive the blessed assurance of forgiveness.

    This liturgy is ancient but largely neglected in recent years in America.  It is similar to the Roman Catholic confessional, but unlike it, in that this liturgy is done face to face with the pastor.  Copies of the liturgy are available in the church office.

    This individual form of confession is more forceful than the general form used during Advent and Lent in the Communion liturgy.  It allows for, but does not require, listing of specific sinful burdens.  It also provides for specific instructions from the pastor for each penitent.  These additional details make for its greater force in the life of the believer. 

    Martin Luther's critique of confession never included the elimination of individual, private confession.  His critique instead only corrected the way it was being done.

    So we continue to honor his words in his Large Catechism:  “If you are a Christian, you should be glad to run more than a hundred miles for confession.” (BC, page 460).  Plan to come – Saturday, September 14th, 3 to 5 pm in the Chapel.  Blessings await you. 



DEO GLORIA CANTORES – Choir will start their practice sessions at 7:30 pm on Thursday, September 19th, in the gallery. 

Fall Schedule starts on Sunday, September 8th.  Adult Bible Class, rm. D and Sunday School, rm. 4, 9:00 am.  Confirmation (6th – 8th grades) meet in the library.  The Wednesday pastor’s classes (10:00 am & 7:30 pm in rm. D) start on September 11th, and confirmation (3:30 pm in rm. D) starts on September 11th as well.

FOOD BANK DONATION suggestion for September is canned, boxed or instant soups or one meal options like corned beef hash, chili, stews, etc.

     Crystal Tudor on her 98th birthday, May 28, 2019.

       Crystal joined FLCWS on December 14, 1952.



Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.

Bob Baker, Sam & Nancy Lawson, Michael Lingle, Pete Morrison, Eileen & Dave Nestoss, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Aasha Sagmoen & Ajani Hammond, Connor Sagmoen, Kyra Stromberg, Tabitha Anderson, Diana Walker, The Rev. Paul Smith, The Rev. Howard Fosser, The Rev. Jeff Larson, The Rev. Jim Nestigen, The Rev. Kari Reiten, Sheila Feichtner, Rebecca Brown, Antonio Ortez, Randy & Mary Leskovar, Richard Uhler, Marjorie Lorraine Dike, Yuriko Nishimura, Leslie & Mark Hicks, Kate & Mark Frey, Yao Chu Chang, Eric Baxter, Deanne Heflin, David Douglass, Geraldine Martindale, Owen & Noreen Marten, Rebecca, Randy & Ansley Kraus, John Malmanger, Eileen, Sica & John Daniel Schmitz, Jim & Bonnie Henningson, Mary Ford, Nancy Wilson.  Also, pray for unbelievers, the abused and harassed.

     Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them joy:  Bob & Mona Ayer, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Joan Olson, Doris Prescott, C. J. Christian, Dorothy Ryder, Lillian Schneider, Crystal Tudor, Nora Vanhala, Mary Goplerud, Anelma Meeks, Martin Nygaard, Gregg & Jeannine Lingle.

     Pray for those who have suffered the death of a loved one:  Pray that God will bear their grief and lift their hearts:  Pray for the family and friends of James Coile who died in a tragic accident on June 20th.  His memorial was held on Saturday, July 6th.  And pray for Doris Prescott, family and friends, on the death of her beloved husband Chuck on June 19th.  A columbarium memorial was held on Saturday, July 13th.  And, pray for Cary Natiello on the death of his mother Naomi on the 6th of July.  A columbarium memorial was held on Monday, July 22nd.

     Pray for our bishops Elizabeth Eaton and Shelly Bryan Wee, 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 September.  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 Emmaus 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 Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist; and Saint Michael and All Angels.

 A Treasury of Prayers


Heavenly Father, grant me insight, so that I may look deeply into your Scriptures, and not cling to superficial or shallow understandings. May I keep focused so that I’m not mesmerized by shadows or illusions, but instead concentrate on the substance of your Holy Word. In the name of Jesus I pray.


                                                                    [For All the Saints II:265, altered]