Stirred Up by the Coming of Christ

Text: Matthew 21:1-11

A little while ago I got a text message from our landlord that he wanted to come visit us at our (his!) house in a couple days. We have a really great relationship with our landlord, he really likes us and is happy to rent to us and we really like him and are happy to rent from him so it is a really positive relationship and we have no problem with him coming over for a visit. But, when I got that text message a kind of panic set in. All of a sudden both Leah and I had this urge to get the house cleaned up. It’s not like our house was tremendously messy or anything like that, things were a little cluttered, but it wasn’t that bad. The prospect of our landlord coming raised the bar a little bit from our standard levels of cleanliness though. We wanted the house to look good when he came, we wanted to show him that we take care of his house, we didn’t want him to think we were slobs.

So for the next couple days we (but mostly Leah) went to work cleaning the house. Toys were put away, floors were scrubbed and vacuumed, the dusting was done, the house looked good. Then, the landlord came. He got to the house right as I was getting home. I parked my car and walked over to his car to meet him. We walked towards the house and stopped in the driveway for a minute. We spent a few minutes talking and in a few short minutes had figured out everything that needed to be figured out. We shook hands and he was ready to walk away, but I said “Wait! We have some mail for you in the house!” In the end he only poked his head in the front door for a minute to say “hi” to Leah and the girls, but that was it. He never set foot in the house. That’s the way things go sometimes, I guess.

This sense of urgency that comes from impending visitors, however, is not all that unusual. When I was a kid this sense of urgency filled our house whenever my grandparents were coming to visit. Suddenly it would be “all hands on deck” to get the house clean.

It is this sense of urgency that I think Paul is directing us towards in our epistle reading today (Romans 13:11-14). It is high time to “clean house,” our spiritual house, Paul is saying. “The hour has come for you to wake from sleep,” Paul says, “For salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day it at hand. So cast off works of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime…” Paul’s words here call on us to wake up from our sleepy slumber in sin and live as the people of God because salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Every day the second coming of Jesus is one day closer than it was the day before, that day is nearer now than it ever has been, so wake up, Paul says, and cast off the works of darkness. Walk properly, not in orgies or drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

Some of those things that Paul mentions seem pretty out there (orgies, drunkenness, etc…). We might be able to easily say that we don’t do those things. But what about jealousy and quarreling? Those have to hit pretty close to our own hearts. How often are we jealous of others? How often do we quarrel and fight with other people about silly little things? Too often to count.

These are the things Paul urges us to leave behind as we walk now as children of light in the light of Jesus our Lord. He urges us to wake up from our lives of sin and live like people of God without these works of darkness.

Have you ever tried to wake up someone who is in such a deep sleep that you have to grab them by the shoulders and shake them to get them to wake up? I have to do that with my kids sometimes, they sleep very soundly. That kind of shake up is what we need to be shaken from our lives of sin and bring this kind of urgency to our lives as we look forward to the coming of our King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often we are just excuse ourselves and our sinful actions rather than trying to change them or stop them. We need to be shaken up so that we sense the urgency and “clean the house” by casting off our sinful works of darkness.

In our Gospel reading today the city of Jerusalem got quite the shake-up. Jesus is coming on Palm Sunday into Jerusalem and the people come out from all over town and line the street with their jackets and palm branches. They shout for joy that Jesus is here. At the end of the story Matthew tells us that the whole city was “stirred up” about Jesus coming into town. The word for “stirred up” there really almost means like an earthquake. The city was shaken by Jesus coming, it was quaking over Him being there. When Jesus died on the cross the earth actually did shake and it happened again three days later when He rose from the dead. This time, though, it is the people, not the ground, who are shaking.

This reminds me of the people of Israel at Mount Sinai when God spoke to them, gave them the Ten Commandments, and made a covenant with them. It was a frightening scene on the mountain that day. There was thunder and lightning on the mountain. The sound of a loud trumpet. And there was even smoke rising up from the mountain. God was there, He was present on that mountain and it was a scary scene. The people were gathered at the foot of the mountain that day, but did not dare to even get close to the mountain. They were afraid and they stood there trembling, shaking in their boots, before God. They were not asleep that day, they were wide awake and terrified. They told Moses not to let God talk to them. Instead, they wanted God to talk to Moses and he could just relay the message on to them. This scene was too much for them to take, they were shaken up.

The people in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday were shaken up in a very different way, however. Just like the people out there at the mountain, God came to them that day and many of them knew it. “This is THE prophet Jesus from Nazareth,” they said. The prophet. The one prophet that God had promised to send, the next and greater Moses. “Hosanna to the Son of David” they shouted. They knew Jesus was the Messiah, their Saviour. But, unlike the people at the foot of the mountain these people were not shaking with fear. There is something very different about this picture. Their King is coming to them but He is humble, riding on a donkey. There is no thunder, lightning, smoke, or booming voices here. Just a man, the God man, riding on donkey coming to His people.

And, in the same kind of way, Jesus comes to us even today. He comes to us, not in terrifying thunder, lightning, and smoke on a mountain but in His Word and in His Sacraments to shake us from our slumber in sin and wake us up to live as children of the light. In His Word He calls us out of our sins, in words like we heard from Paul in his letter to the Romans this morning. God is speaking to us in these words to shake us out of our sin and bring us into His eternal life. He comes to us today also in bread and wine to forgive all of our sins and give us the strength, by His grace, to live as His people.

He comes to us like this today because He has already come to us, being born in a manger, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, dying on a cross, and rising from the dead. Look at how God has already come to His people, to us, by becoming like us in every way and yet without sin. Look at how He has reached out to us in our sin and how He keeps reaching out to us in our sin and drawing us out of that sin by His words of forgiveness. It’s Jesus who sets our house in order, who cleans up the mess of our sin by His death on the cross and gets our hearts ready for the day of His coming because He has already come to us and He keeps coming to us.

So let’s wake up from our slumber in sin. Let’s put the ways of sinful darkness behind us and live as the people of God. Let’s let God’s Word shake us up and show us our sin so that we can look on Jesus and see our Saviour who takes away that sin. Let’s be wide awake, through the grace and forgiveness of Jesus, to look forward to His coming again. Let’s prepare for this Christmas season by repenting, confessing our sins and receiving God’s forgiveness. Let’s rejoice that God has come to us, that He keeps coming to us, and that He will come again. He will come soon, our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Amen.

Our Crucified King

Text: Luke 23:27-43

Grace, mercy, and peace to each of you from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

A few weeks ago when we celebrated All Saints Day I asked you at the beginning of the sermon to look around you at all the people gathered here with you. We talked that day about how we are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. As we look around at others or at ourselves we might not see it, but that is what we are. Today I want you to look around again. Not so much at the people you see here today, but at the group as a whole. Do you see a kingdom when you look around you today?

We live in a country that is a kingdom, we have a Queen who rules over us. On a practical level she doesn’t do much other than smile and wave, but every law our government passes every term of Parliament that takes place in Ottawa is in her name. We live in a kingdom, what used to be called a dominion, under our Queen, Queen Elizabeth.

We see this worldly kingdom all around us, on postage stamps, on coins and bills, and in our flag and national anthem. This kingdom is easy to see. But there is another kingdom of which we are a part and that kingdom is much harder to see. That is the kingdom I’d like you to see today.

The first line of our epistle reading today talks about how God has delivered us from the domain or dominion of darkness and transferred us into a glorious new homeland, the kingdom of His beloved Son. Notice that the verbs here are all past tense, God has delivered us and has transferred us, it is done and completed. That means we live in the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son right now. We are still citizens of the nation/kingdom of Canada and subjects of Queen Elizabeth, but at the same time we are citizens in another kingdom and subjects of a different kind of royalty all together. We live in the Kingdom of God under Jesus, the Son of God, who is our glorious, eternal, everlasting King.

We heard in our gospel reading today about Jesus being crucified, the story we are used to hearing in full on Good Friday. It is not a pleasant picture, not one we would like to dwell on too long, but this is where we come to understand Jesus our King and understand what this Kingdom is like. As they crucify Jesus out there at the place called The Skull they place a sign over His head which said, “This is the King of the Jews,” and the soldiers and people walking by mock Jesus saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” They look at Jesus on the cross and see something that looks nothing like a king. They see a spindly, beaten up, half dead man breathing his final breaths. This is far from a kingly scene, there is no royal elegance here. But their taunts and their jeers were closer to the truth than they could have ever imagined. This beaten up, half dead, crucified, dying man was a king and is our King, He is not simply the King of the Jews, but the King of creation and as they nailed Him to that cross this King took His place on His throne and reigned in His Kingdom forever. On the cross Jesus is King.

So, as we hear the story of Jesus being crucified we come to understand what this Kingdom of God is and how we live in it. The Kingdom of God is you and me gathered around the cross and Jesus on the cross. It doesn’t look like a kingly royal scene, it doesn’t look like something to celebrate, but on the cross Jesus takes His place as King of all creation and makes us His people through His death.

On that cross we see what a glorious and other worldly thing the Kingdom of God is. Listen to the words that our King, Jesus, speaks from the cross to the people standing there and to us as we gather around His throne: He says, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” and “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

This is not how people talk in the kingdoms of the world. The government of Canada doesn’t talk about forgiveness. Worldly kingdoms exist to keep peace and order and in order for there to be peace and order and justice in this world there needs to be punishments for crimes, there needs to be rules and consequences for breaking rules. But Jesus our King speaks of forgiveness even as He gives up His life on the cross. There, ruling from on high, Jesus begs His Father to forgive the very people who have done this too Him. Jesus’ prayer is the same for You. He pleads for Your forgiveness and has accomplished that forgiveness. Before the throne of Jesus, at the foot of the cross, You don’t need to fear any punishment. Your King has forgiven you for all of your sins.

The kingdoms of the world don’t offer paradise either. For kingdoms in this world the perfection of paradise is always out of reach. Our King Jesus, however, does make that promise. Again, speaking to a thief on the cross beside Him, Jesus says, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” We see the forgiveness of sins at work again here, this man is a thief, and he has been rightfully convicted in his crimes against other people. He knows he deserves this fate. But Jesus forgives and also promises more. To this sinner who is dying in his sin Jesus promises life everlasting: “today you will be with me.” There is nothing that can separate us from our King, not even death. He has opened paradise to us by His death on the cross so that on the day that we die we fall asleep to this world and wake up in the arms of our Saviour and wait with Him for the day when He will raise our bodies from the dead.

This is no ordinary King and no ordinary Kingdom. And we, through baptism and faith in Christ, are subjects in this Kingdom. We live in the Kingdom of God, we have been rescued from the domain of sin and darkness and have a new home in the Kingdom of God gathered around Christ and the cross celebrating the forgiveness of sins. But, at the same time Satan, our enemy, sneaks around trying to make us forget about all of this. He wants us to forget about what a marvelous thing the Kingdom of God is. He doesn’t want us to recognise what is happening right here. He does not want us to see the Kingdom of Christ right here in the midst of us.

The devil is more than happy to let you come to church on Sunday. Frankly, he does not care how you choose to spend that time on Sunday morning. What the devil does care about though, and what he fights against tooth and nail, is you hearing about the forgiveness of sins that Christ won for you on the cross. This good news robs Satan of any power over you. With the knowledge of Christ and what He has done for you the devil has no more leverage over you. He’s lost his edge. So he works day and night to take this knowledge away from you.

Satan wants you to look around and see just another social club, a nice group of people to hang out with, and some nice traditions. He doesn’t want you to see what is really going on. He doesn’t want you to know that right here right now as you hear God’s Word, Jesus your King is speaking His forgiveness to you just like He did on that cross. The devil doesn’t want you to know that right here when we receive the body and blood of Jesus in communion we are receiving the forgiveness and eternal life that Jesus won for us on the cross. The devil doesn’t want you to hear those words “Father forgive them” or “Today you will be with me in paradise,” but that is what Jesus says to you today.

When we look around here we might not think we see anything special. It all seems kind of ordinary actually. We don’t look much like a kingdom. But that should not be surprising, our King Jesus Christ didn’t look like much of a king on the cross either. But, despite all outward appearances, He is our crucified and risen King and we are a part of His Kingdom. This place, this church, is an outpost of the Kingdom of Christ. When we gather here it is like we are gathering at the foot of the cross, at the feet of our King, and hearing Him speak to us again. This is no small thing. This is the Kingdom of God. Let us listen to these words from our King and rejoice in the Kingdom: “Father forgive them” and “Today you will be with me.” In Jesus name. Amen.

O God Our Help in Ages Past…

Text: Luke 21:5-28

Grace, mercy, and peace to each of you from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.

Our Gospel reading today is a tricky one. It is tempting to run wild with a text like this and start reading through it trying to figure out exactly what Jesus is talking about in our own days and put all the pieces together. Jesus talks about nations rising against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms, earthquakes, famines, pestilences, terrors, and all kinds of miserable things. People often try to read things like this that Jesus said with one eye on the news so that we can try to figure out if some of these things that Jesus spoke about are happening in our own days.

This is especially tempting after a week like this week. A week when our continent saw the unthinkable happen in that election you might have heard about. There is a temptation to take those events in the United States and try to fit them into what Jesus is talking about here or at least to think that these must be signs of the end times. But this is not what Jesus is talking about. Nothing in the Bible talks about what is going to happen after Donald Trump (or anyone else for that matter) gets elected as President of the United States. Jesus is talking about something very different.

If we read through our Gospel reading today carefully without trying to put our own ideas in it, we will see that Jesus is actually talking about something that happened a long, long time ago. Jesus is not telling us here what the end of the world will be like or anything like that. Instead, Jesus is warning His disciples about what is about to happen to the city of Jerusalem, the people in that city, and the temple in that city in the year 70AD. When Jesus told them this it was still 40 years in the future, but for us it is 1,946 years ago. Jesus isn’t talking about the future for us, but about the past.

In the year 70AD the Roman armies came in and crushed the rebellion that the people had instigated against their authority. The people of Israel had been under foreign rule for a long time. Sometimes it what the Assyrians ruling over them, sometimes the Babylonians, sometimes the Persians, sometimes the Greeks, and finally the Romans. Each time they tried to going along with things for a while but eventually they tried to push back and get rid of these people ruling over them. Starting in the year 66 the people tried to gain independence by pushing the Romans out once and for all. For a little while it worked, but within a few years it ended in disaster. The Romans swept back in and wiped everything out. They destroyed Jerusalem, slaughtered the people, and destroyed the temple once and for all. To this day the temple in Jerusalem lays in ruins.

This is what Jesus was telling the disciples about in our reading today. The disciples are admiring the temple in Jerusalem and how magnificent a building it really is when Jesus interrupts by saying that “the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And when He talks about nations rising against nations this is what He is talking about. Jesus even says that before this happens, before Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed, the Christians will be persecuted. This all happens in the book of Acts. After Jesus ascends into heaven and sends the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, disciples of Jesus are taken before courts and tribunals and some are stoned to death for their faith.

As Jesus speaks to His disciples about all of this He is preparing them for these dark and difficult days that lie ahead. Being a disciple, a follower of Jesus, in these days will not be easy and Jesus does not want His followers to be taken by surprise. In the midst of all the doom and gloom, however, Jesus makes some wonderful promises. “Not a hair on your head will perish,” Jesus said, “Bu your endurance you will gain your lives.” And a little later on, “When these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

“Not a hair on your head will perish in the midst of what is coming,” Jesus says to His disciples. “Even though you may get dragged into hearings and trials, even though people may hate you, even though they may kill you, not a hair on your head will perish. God knows the hairs on your head, down to the very last one, and He will keep your life. Even though you die He will raise you up to life everlasting.”

“Look up in these dark days,” Jesus says to His disciples, “Your redemption is coming. The day is coming when this all will end and You will rest eternally with Me in paradise. Do not be discouraged or afraid, your God will come and save you.”

These are glorious and encouraging promises and they apply to us too. We aren’t living through the things that Jesus was talking about here, not even close. We don’t live in Jerusalem and we have not seen the kind of destruction that Jesus is talking about. But that does not mean that the world today is without trials, distress, and suffering. This is particularly true for Christians. We aren’t persecuted in the same way that Jesus is talking about here, but being a Christian in North America today is by no means easy or popular. But the promises remain the same. Not a hair from your head will perish, even if you lose your life, and in the midst of it all Jesus encourages you to straighten up, lift up your eyes because your redemption is drawing near. God salvation for us is nearer now than when we first believed!

Right before the sermon we sang “O God Our Help in Ages Past.” I think that hymn perfectly summarizes how we are to understand and regard a reading like our Gospel reading today. Here we see how God promised to be with and care for His people even in the midst of disaster. God was a help for His people in those days and, because of this, we can be sure that He will be a help for us in our days as well. The Word of the Lord endure forever and His promises are eternal.

When hear “O God Our Help in Ages Past” I’m always reminded of Remembrance Day. At the Remembrance Day services in my hometown we always sang this hymn. The promises are true in this sense too. During those dark years of war and fighting God was the help of His people. This doesn’t mean that nothing bad happened to them or even that they did not die, but God remained faithful to His people and even though they may have lost their lives not a hair from their head perished. The eternal life won for them and us on the cross as Jesus died remains God’s faithful promise to us and them even in the face of death.

As Christians then we have tremendous hope as we live out our lives in this world. Not a hair from our heads will perish. In Romans chapter 8 Paul tells us that nothing, nothing at all, can separate us from the love of God that is ours in Jesus Christ who bled and died to pour out that love on us. Nothing can take that love from us.

In this hope we endure. Jesus says, “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” Our endurance is not our own ability to stick with it or not give up. Our endurance is our continuing and ongoing trust in God’s promise to us in Christ. This endurance is sustained and fed by God as He speaks His promise to us again and again in His Word pointing us to the cross where Jesus died to secure eternal life for us and as we are fed with the very body and blood of Jesus our Saviour at this altar. On our own we would wither under the pressure of this world and everything that comes with it, but Christ in us sustains our lives of faith so that we endure all things for the sake of knowing Christ.

And in this hope we hold our heads high, not in pride or vanity, but looking forward to the coming of Christ. Though we may become discouraged at times, Christ invites us to lift up our head and our eyes and see that His salvation is coming. The trials and troubles we experience now serve to remind us that the day is drawing near when Jesus will come again and redeem us from this world of sin. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Children of God: Our New (and Future!) Reality

Text: 1 John 3:1-3

Grace, mercy, and peace to each of you from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

As you look around you this morning in church what do you see? Or, better yet, who do you see? The same people you always see here? Your friends, neighbours, relatives, and fellow church members? You probably know the names of all of these people who are here, you probably know them better than I do because you have known them longer than I have. What kind of people are these gathered around you? Nice people, friendly people? Sure. Sinners? That too. But also children of God.

As you look around the church this morning or as you came into church this morning and said your hellos and good mornings to people were you thinking about how all these people you see here are children of God? Probably not. They don’t always look like the children of God so it is completely understandable for you not to recognize them right away as such, but that is what they are. That is what you are. You are a child of God. When you looked in the mirror this morning before you left for church did you recognise a child of God? You might not look like it much either sometimes, but that is what you are. That is what we are, the children of God gathered together in His name to hear His Word and receive His forgiveness.

John says quite emphatically here that we are the children of God here and now. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are,” he says.  See what kind of love that God would give to us, even to us, that sinners like us would be called the children of God! And we aren’t just called the children of God, but in reality, in the most real way possible, we are the children of God. It’s not just a name or a label, it is our identity. This is a wonderful thing, a wonderful gift from God, that through His only begotten Son and His death that we have received adoption as sons and daughters, children, through baptism into His name.

But, children of God seem to be difficult to recognize. “The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him,” John says. We don’t even recognize each other sometimes as the children of God. So how come? Why doesn’t the world recognise the children of God? The simple reason is that in this world the children of God don’t always look much like children of God. When the world looks at us they don’t see perfect, holy, pious, saints. They don’t see people who seem to do everything right and for whom everything seems to go the right way. They look at us and we look at each other and see ordinary people.

The reality of who we are is hidden right now under a lot of other stuff. Under our sin that continues to live in our mortal bodies and under the consequences of sin that we struggle through every day. In our gospel reading (Matthew 5) Jesus talked about these struggles that the children of God face. He said, blessed are the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek (weak/powerless people), the ones who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness (which means they have none of their own!), and even the ones who are persecuted. These people don’t seem blessed, they seem miserable. But Jesus says that these people are blessed because their needs, their lacks, the thing that is missing for them that they hunger and thirst for, will be provided by God. They are blessed because they are children of God and God their Father will provide for their every need. Though they suffer and lack any goodness in themselves they are blessed children of God and so are we.

We don’t look like children of God all the time in this life because we are sinners. People outside the church who have a problem with Christians and the Christian faith like to point out the Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites, they have all these rules and commandments that they think people should follow, but they don’t live up to those rule and commandments in their own lives themselves. They tell other people what to do, but don’t walk that walk in their own lives. And the funny thing is that they are right. We don’t live up to God’s commandments in our own lives, we are not perfect, holy people, we are sinners. The church is full of sinners. What these people don’t understand is that we do not claim to be able to live up to these commands, instead we live under the grace and forgiveness of Jesus that was poured out for us on the cross. What these people don’t understand is Jesus.

John tells us here in 1 John that the reason the world does not recognize us as the children of God is that the world did not recognize Jesus. When Jesus was hanging on the cross people ridiculed Him and said, “If you are the Son of God come down from there, save yourself!” These people also did not understand who Jesus is. They did not understand that He needed to die for the sins of the world and that in that death He would win the eternal victory over sin and death. Sometimes I wonder if people today look at us, the Church, and say, “If you are the children of God then you should be better people, you should be more successful in life, your church ought to be bigger and growing…” The world still does not understand Jesus. The world does not understand the cross. The world does not understand that through weakness, suffering, and even death that God has brought about salvation and eternal life for sinful, mortal human beings like ourselves.

The world we live in does not understand Jesus and so it does not understand us, the children of God gathered in the Church of God. The Church in this world and the children of God in this world are unrecognizable apart from Jesus because Jesus makes us what we are. Jesus makes us the children of God right now even if we don’t look or feel like it. His forgiveness is sure because it was sealed on the cross and our adoption as sons and daughters of God through Him is equally sure. Because we know Jesus we can look around at our brothers and sisters in Christ and see other forgiven sinners just like us who struggle in life just like us and who hold on to one hope, one faith, one Lord just like us. We are the children of God gathered in this place.

What we are right now might not be easy to see or recognize, but it will not always be that way. John tells us that “when [Jesus] appears we shall be like Him because we shall see Him as He is.” That’s amazing stuff, we will be like Him, we will be like Jesus. When Jesus appears, when He comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead, we will be like Jesus. The sin that clings to us now will be long gone, we will be like Jesus, the sinless Son of God. The suffering, mourning, frustration, and emptiness that we know so well in this life will be long gone too. We will be like Jesus the risen Son of God who conquered death and the grave and who lives forever more. We will be like Jesus.

Really that is what it means to be the children of God. It means that right now we look like Jesus because we are covered with Jesus and His blood shed for us. We have been washed in the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin. But now we only see that faintly, like in a foggy mirror that does not reflect all that clearly. But a day is coming when we will be revealed for what we are, the children of God. On that day we will be like Jesus. There will be no questions then, no doubts, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is.

Look around you today, what do you see? Fellow sinners covered in Jesus. But faintly in the distance there is something greater, something more. That great multitude that no one can number that our reading from Revelation 7 talked about, that multitude from ever tribe, nation, and language gathered around the throne of God and Jesus the Lamb. We might not feel like a multitude this morning and I could easily count you if I wanted too, but we are that multitude, we are the children of God. Even here and now as we gather around God’s Word and Sacraments, we can see faintly in the distance that great multitude that we are a part of through faith in Christ. And on the day when Jesus comes again we will join the full force of that multitude and we will be with Jesus and like Jesus, our Saviour, who lives and reigns to all eternity. Amen.