Abide with me.

“He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:44-48

A friend of mine and his family visited the Ark Encounter in North Central Kentucky recently and we spoke about how that from that group of God fearing people came our family tree.  From that ark came the lineage of our Savior Jesus Christ, the lineage of these Haitian children who attend Bon Berger Lutheran in Caredeux and came to Haiti in the 18th century on slave ships, your family tree and my family that came here to the U.S. from Germany in the 19th century.  It has always been our Creator’s plan to bring us the only answer for salvation in this sinful world.  And we are His witnesses; these little ones and you and me.  Heavenly Father abide with us as we go out into the world this week and share the message of Salvation with those people You have placed along our path.  I am closing today with the words from the hymn ‘Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide’ that were written by Henry F. Lyte in 1847.

“Abide with me!  Fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.  When other helpers fail and comforts flee, help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!  Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day; earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see.  O Thou, who changest not, abide with me!  Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word, but as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord, familiar, condescending, patient, free.   Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.  Come not in terror, as the King of kings, but kind and good, with healing in Thy wings; tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.  Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.  Thou on my head in every youth didst smile, and though rebellious and perverse meanwhile, Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.  On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.  I need Thy presence every passing hour; what but Thy grace can foil the Tempter's power?  Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?  Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me!  I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.  Where is death's sting? where, grave, thy victory?  I triumph still if Thou abide with me.  Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes, shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.  Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!” 

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

May God be with you…Jay