The Starkness of Choice

Our current struggle in the information age – is on a daily basis to decide between multiple stories. These stories no longer present different interpretations of commonly accepted facts, but now present us with different sets facts. There are facts and there are now alternative facts. There is truth, it seems, and there is alternative truth. There are stories, it seems, and then there are other stories.

Yet, this has always been true – if expressed in less extreme and less incendiary ways. Each one of us creates or constructs individual stories to explain our experience of the world. Together, as cultures, faith traditions, communities, and nations, we construct our collective stories- stories that tell us about our origins. Who are we? Why we are here? How do things come to be the way we experience them? Both as individuals and as communities our stories mold and shape our perceptions of self and the world. Our stories once brought to life, make claims upon us. And herein- lies our current dilemma as a culture and as a nation. We no longer share agreed upon interpretations of events -events that shape our perceptions of who we are, why we are here, and how we came to be this way?

Christmas is a story about how God becomes known to us – not through timeless mystery – but within the flow of events that forms our shared human history. Even so – there have always been differing interpretations of how God entered into the flow of events in human history.

You see, there is, and has always been, more than one way to tell a story. I can tell my own life story as a story of a glass half full. Or I can reframe this story to take account of my actual experience of abundant grace and generosity – a story of a glass overflowing. This second way of telling makes the quality of my experience ever more fruitful. Between these two stories designed to explain my experience to myself, lies the area of personal choice. Which will I choose?

As we all have multiple stories from among which to make choices, so we discover that Christmas is not one story, but multiple stories.

Matthew’s birth of Jesus story is story about Jesus and Joseph and the fulfillment of Israel’s long dream of a new Moses. In Matthew it’s the kings of the earth who come to pay homage to Israel’s infant king. Like Moses, Matthew has Jesus taken down into Egypt, but not as prince but infant refugee in the company of his parents, who are in flight to protect the young boy-king’s life. In 2021, we easily identify with Matthew’s story of forced migration and flight to safety as the world is rocked by the largest global movement of peoples, now on course to exceed that in the aftermath of the Second World War. Choosing to believe in response to Matthew’s version of the story might help us to clarify what are the priorities for us in the current conflicting immigration debate. In Jesus, God enters into the experience of homelessness – in order to call our homelessness – home.

Luke’s birth story is about Jesus and Mary. In Mary, an adolescent girl, pregnant out of wedlock and scared out of her wits by the dangerous predicament she finds herself in becomes an image of courage born of vulnerability. On Advent 4, I wrote about how in 2021, Mary’s story evokes powerful resonances to the vulnerability of women – in the face of a ruthless patriarchy – that even today continues to control women and their reproductive bodies. Luke’s story is about the role we human beings play as the essential agents who collaborate with God’s dream of putting the world to rights. Luke’s Jesus is a universal savior, born in utter obscurity, witnessed not by kings but by illiterate peasant shepherds and field hands. Luke’s Jesus is born among the outcast and excluded, those of us who are of little account in this world.

John’s story offers a completely different take on how God the creator enters within the experience of the creation. In John there are no birth facts – no Joseph, no Mary, no wise men, or shepherds, or angels. In contrast, John constructs a narrative in which Jesus’ entry into human experience is reframed as a new Genesis event  – harkening back to the very origins of the creation, itself.

John’s begins with: In the beginning —–. In the beginning, when God created the heaven and earth, the Word already was. Logos, translated in English as Word, points to the action of God in creation. Jesus is the Word -that is, God in the communicative action – radiating outwards through the energies of light and love. In Jesus, God as the Word self-reveals in the contours of a human face and in the unfolding events of a human life.

From his opening words, John quickly sketches out his plot line. God’s self-giving as the Word, has come into the world, but the world is not ready for this and fails to recognize what God is doing. Because the world remains mired in the self-interests of the status quo. John’s story of how the Creator pours into and becomes one within the creation presents us with the stark outlines of choice. Will we, do we make the choice to believe – inspired by John’s story to become allied with God’s purposes in the Incarnation?

Each Evangelist constructs a story that makes sense of Jesus birth in the context of their own time and place. Each of these stories poses for us a challenge of particular choices, accepted or refused.

We modern Westerners are preoccupied with the question of truth. Is this version of event true or not? We tend to treat the birth narratives in the Gospels as fairy stories, which for many of us places them in the not true category and consequently of not true for us. But the question – is this story true or not true is the wrong question because it doesn’t get us to where we need to be in relation to story. The real question is: what implications flow from believing or not believing in the incarnation story? We choose whether to find value or not in our large faith stories.

The choice of story is always ours. The enchanted magical-realism of the Matthew and Luke stories of Jesus’ birth among angels, shepherds, and wise men may no longer speak to us as it once did in previous generations. Yet, buried in these stories lie a set of tensions that do – tensions between safety and risk; between invulnerability and vulnerability; between collaboration and resistance; insiders or outsiders.

In its cosmic expansiveness, John’s narrative might better speak to those of us with science-fiction rich, post-modern imaginations in the way that Matthew and Luke’s enchanted birth stories once functioned for the pre-modern mindset. For me, John’s more cosmic and expansive reframing of the Creator’s entry into the heart of the creation fits better with my sci-fi – Quantum field influenced imagination. Picture

in the beginning, was the Word, the Word was with God  ….. the light shining in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it  ….. and Word became flesh and lived among us  …..and we have seen his glory …..God’s only son full of grace and truth.

scrolling across the wide screen of a new Star Wars postquel epic.

I believe in the power of these gospel stories to change lives – because they change my life. I believe in these stories, not because I mistake them for literal descriptions of events, but because to not believe in them is to reject their implications for human living – to prefer lesser and more self-serving stories that impoverish and limit my imagination, cramping the space for creative living. I choose these stories to live by because they are large expansive stories that challenge the forces – both in me and in the world around me that resist and work against God’s healing of a broken human world.

Good stories break the power of the illusion that we have no choice – as if there are no other stories to draw from – or no other ways to reframe the stories we have. Viewed in this way, the Christmas story might be worthy of our closer consideration?

A Christmas Blessing

May the stories we choose to live by – enliven us to the invisible geography that invites us to new frontiers, breaking the dead shell of yesterdays, risking being disturbed and changed, giving us courage to live the lives we long to love, and to postpone no longer the life we came here to live and waste our hearts on fear no more.

My paraphrasing from John O’donohue A Morning Offering

This is how the truth comes

Featured Image: He Qui’s The Visitation-Sacraparental

How old is she, I wonder? 13-15 years-old? We don’t know. What we do know is that she’s just a girl. Maybe a girl already betrothed, but a girl nevertheless. A girl betrothed as was the custom of her people. But a girl according to the betrothal custom of her people should not have yet come to know the man to whom she is betrothed in the intimacy of sexual intercourse. She hasn’t, – well as far as she knows. Yet, how to explain the strange stirrings in her belly? Whatever – however – these things are happening. Mary is very, very scared.

She’s scared, and yet, somewhere deep inside her she feels something else, a consolation, a rightness that defies all rationality. At night her mind flits to-and-fro, back and forth. One moment calm, she feels the assurance of a consolation. In the next moment – the grip of terror takes hold once again.

Two questions vie within her.  What is happening to me? A question that stirs her curiosity. Only to be followed by another question: what will Papa do to me when he finds out?

St Martin’s, Providence, is one of the finest examples of both English domestic Gothic form and ecclesiastical Arts and Crafts in New England, if not wider afield. It has both nave and clerestory levels of stained-glass windows telling the story of faith and life. Although put in over a 40-50-year period, all the windows stylistically conform to a master schematic – presenting a holistic integrity in style and an orderly progression of themes. Like the Medieval cathedrals and churches, St Martin’s windows are more than decoration, they tell the story of Christian faith and Western culture.

The nave windows form a progression in which the story of Jesus’ life unfolds in sequential chapters. The first window begins with the chapter occurring before the one we hear about in Luke’s Gospel on Advent IV – the announcement from the archangel Gabriel to this 12-13-14?, year-old girl. The next window depicts the events of Luke 1:39-55. In this window we see two adult women, one clearly middle-aged while the other in the full bloom of early womanhood. Both sit appearing to be in conversation; each depicted with a boy toddler – two maybe there year old, sitting in their lap.

St Martin’s Visitation Window

This is the window that depicts the event we call the Visitation, when Mary journeys some distance to visit with her older cousin, Elizabeth. Elizabeth is also pregnant. Again, her pregnancy, like Mary’s is unexpected. But in her case, the surprise is one that defies biological rather than social convention, because Elizabeth is decidedly post-menopausal.

There are deeper strands of significance weaving through this story of Luke’s. Elizabeth and Mary are cousins. Luke tells us that Elizabeth is married to Zechariah, and that Zechariah is of the priestly clan. Luke, here, clearly wants us to know that Mary too is related a priestly family, thus telling us how Jesus is connected into the institutions of his Hebrew people. For his readers, this is a matter of some importance in supporting their claim that Jesus is the one promised to Israel. Elizabeth’s son is John the Baptist, who is not simply the cousin to Jesus, son of Mary, but the prophetic Elijah, who later in the wilderness will announce the arrival of the promised one.

One final comment about the Visitation window. This window is clearly a euphemized depiction, a pleasant cover for the unpleasant or embarrassing truth of the actual event.

At the time of their meeting, neither woman has yet given birth. Yet, here they are with two toddlers in their laps. Perhaps the explanation for this lies in the year the window was made – 1924, a period when WASPy social convention was clearly uneasy with the depiction of pregnancy in the sacred precincts of the church. This is how we dress-up, gloss over in order to distance ourselves from the rawness of the biblical story.

Back to Luke’s actual story –  In those days, Mary went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country. Because of the discrepancy in their ages, it seems probable to assume Mary’s and Elizabeth’s relationship is one more typical of niece and aunt. Maybe this is the reason Mary has come to Elizabeth. Uncertain of her own mother’s reception of her news – she comes to the woman who has always looked out for her and whom she knows will protect her. Mary rises early, and with haste, flees to the bosom of her aunt.

Mary leaves in haste, because she is very, very scared. She lives in a society that practiced honor killing for girls made pregnant outside wedlock – interesting word. Though betrothed to Joseph, Mary is not yet locked into the social convention of weddedness that would explain and approve her pregnancy.

The Law of Moses dictated that a girl in Mary’s predicament was to be stoned to death. But Mary is from a priestly family and a special method of honor killing was prescribed for her. In priestly families, the daughter in Mary’s predicament was to be strangled by her father at the door of their house.

So, Mary sets out with haste – in flight – to the protection of her aunt – in the distant hill country of Judea. It’s speculation, but maybe she continued in the seclusion of Elizabeth and the kindly Zechariah’s protection until the middle-aged Joseph agreed to marry her. But the content of Joseph’s mind is part of Matthew’s telling of this story, not Luke’s. For Luke this is a story that begins in the solidarity of two women plotting against the age-old patriarchal control of a women’s reproductive body.

Luke’s story is about two women the elder protecting the younger from the harshness of the patriarchal heart. Between Elizabeth and Mary lies a recognition and a solidarity because the vulnerability of women to the hardness of the patriarchal heart is a story older than time and as recent as the last 24 hour news cycle.

Luke take an earlier song of a woman’s jubilation – Hannah’s song from the second chapter of the first book of Samuel – and transposes it into Mary’s key. Mary sings out in jubilation the story of God’s generosity towards her, and through her, to generations yet to come.

What is the essence of Mary’s jubilation? It is that at a deeply intuitive level she perceives the significance of her acceptance; of the exercise of her individual responsibility to participate in God’s dream for the world. This is how God’s call for human collaboration comes. She sings out:

It extols,
  my life does,
It rejoices,
   my breath does,
   at Elohim[2] my deliverer.
 Because Elohim looked on the humility

   of his female slave.

Mary sings out that this is a dream for justice, of putting to rights those things that are currently so very wrong:

His mercy extends
into birthings and birthings
of those reverencing him.

He made strength with his arm,
 he scattered those visibly superior
  by the intentions of their wills.  
He put down the capable from thrones
    and exalted the humble ones.  
Hungry ones he filled full of worthy things,
     rich ones, out and away he sent them,


Richard Swanson’s evocative translation

How will the Messiah – the promised one – come? He will come in obscurity, through the courageous cooperation of human agents like Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah. He will come – the homeless God – who calls all human homelessness, home.

In the womb of an adolescent girl, untimely pregnant, who has had to run for her life, the next chapter in Israel’s long story of God’s dream for the world awaits fulfilment. How many other countless young mothers are running for their lives, shielding their unborn and shepherding their born children from danger in the hope of finding the equivalent of an Elizabeth and Zechariah – who in the bigger picture are representations of you and me – for all us together – we who have the power and resources to provide a place of safety?  

God comes into the world not as a prince, born to power and priviledge, a political figure of power and influence. God comes into the world not as a successful culture icon, but as a babe, protected for a time within the womb of an adolescent girl who finds shelter in a world of patriarchal danger. God comes through the collaboration of a frightened and courageous girl-woman – given shelter and protection by an older woman for whom God also has an untimely purpose. Pray God that like Mary and Elizabeth we may not be found wanting when the time for our decision making comes.

Mary’s story is our story too. The nature of truth is stranger than fiction because you couldn’t make it up even if you tried!

[1] HaShem. noun. Judaism a periphrastic way of referring to God in contexts other than prayer, scriptural reading, etc because the name itself is considered too holy for such use. [2] The true God

Featured Image ‘The Visitation’ by Dr. He Qi, China/USA

Of Hope and Home

The power of that for which we hope is already effective within us.

Alice Miller, prominent 20th-century child psychoanalyst.

Zephaniah’s short three-chapter prophecy is exceedingly gloomy except for this passage appointed for today 3:14-20.

The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst, you shall fear disaster no more. … I shall save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you home ….gather you….make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth.

It’s so out of character with the rest of the book that it’s now thought to be a later insertion. But for me, its relevance lies in God’s promise to bring the outcast and the shamed, home.

The passage is a fine example of hope realized in the sense which I think Alice Miller is getting at. The definition of hope is something both looked forward to. However, the crucial point Miller identifies is that hope prefigures future expectation in present-time action.  For while the focus of hope is future directed, the process or action of hoping is always a present time activity. Thus, the power of that for which we hope in the future is already effective within us – by virtue of the action of hoping in the present.

Knowing what God promises to do has the power to reshape our perspective on present time events – and when reflected upon – influences the choices we make and the actions we take.

The power of that for which we hope is already effective within us. Another way of putting this is to say that without hope we have no compass to direct our present time actions. Miller’s words find an echo in another great 20-century figure, the philosophical theologian, Paul Tillich who wrote:

If we wait in hope and patience, the power of that for which we wait is already effective within us. Those who wait in an ultimate sense are not that far from that for which they wait. 

Returning to God’s promise to bring the outcast and the shamed, home in the Zephaniah passage. Where exactly is home?

This past week, a community hope came one step further towards its fruition. Inspired by our common religious obligation to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless, St Martin’s and Temple Beth-El have teamed up in a joint initiative to support what may eventually be up to three Afghan resettlement families. The first step was some weeks ago to meet and plan for the collection of household furniture and other domestic resources. Following our recent estate sale St Martin’s donated furniture to Dorcas International and we are thankful for the members of both communities who generously continue to support this appeal.

Then, this past week we came one step closer to our hope becoming a reality when a small group from both communities; our contingent led by the ever resourceful Susan Esposito, ably supported by Jennifer Kiddie, Julienne Isaacs, Lori Istok, Burleigh Morton, and Carol Tucker – readied a two bed apartment provided through Dorcas International, into which it is planned to move a family of seven.

Although the inspiration comes from our long shared Judeo-Christian Tradition, I am aware that our national response to the Afghan resettlement program differs from our normal regrettable attitudes to the resettlement of refugees.

Americans have come to deeply regret our involvement in Afghanistan, and despite the many good things accomplished in the process of rebuilding this nation’s infrastructure, nation building with the establishment of a thriving democracy with Afghan features has been a failure. Alas some very Afghan features did democracy in.

The profound implications of this failure, is something for which we bear a huge responsibility. We repeat the same mistakes – made all those years ago in Vietnam and repeated elsewhere, with our historic tendency to support corrupt and oppressive agencies in the interests of maintaining our own security interests. This mistake came home to roost with a vengeance with the collapse of the Afghan government, revealed to be nothing more than a house of cards. The rapid Taliban takeover in the face of collapsed resistance from an overly equipped Afghan National Army is less an endorsement of ordinary Afghans support for the Taliban than it is an expression of their hatred for a corrupt government and brutally oppressive warlord system.

Our response to the resettlement of Afghan refugees shows how national guilt and shame can be a powerful catalysts in driving us to rediscover the obligations our faith places upon us.

The power of that for which we hope is already effective within us because when we wait in hope and patience, the power of that for which we wait is already effective within us.

Paul Tillich

If I look deeply into my own heart what I cannot escape from is this: the resettlement of Afghan evacuees and their successful integration into our Rhode Island society is a symbol for my own largely unaddressed sense of homelessness.

St Augustine noted, we human beings are endlessly restless. The cause of our restlessness is our continual searching for a coming home. We deal with our restlessness through diverting our time and energy into endless busy-ness. The paradox is that when our Christian faith presents us with the possibility of coming home, we reject it because we are too busy. And so, we tell God in a myriad of ways, don’t trouble us God, please don’t make any demands on us, we are too busy with the demands of life as it is.

The result is we are the agents of our own continued alienation from the longed-for experience of home coming when we reject the priorities of the Kingdom. Our sense of being spiritually and existentially homeless is because we are already too busy, thank you God – little recognizing that it is God’s call to come home that we need to be busy about.

John the Baptist attracted all conditions of people into the desert beyond the Jordan. The pious, the comfortable, the despised security thugs of the oppressive regime – Jewish as well as Roman. He warned them all that the axe is already laid to the roots of all they place their misguided hope and faith in.

In her commentary for Advent 3, Jane Williams writes: It is God’s willingness to be homeless to bring us home that we celebrate at Christmas and spend Advent trying to imagine and prepare ourselves for. She quotes from the final stanza of G.K. Chesterton’s poem:

To an open house in the evening, home shall all men come to an older place than Eden and a taller town than Rome. To the end of the way of the wandering star, to the things than cannot be and that are, to the place where God was homeless, and all men are at home.

G.K.Chesterton The Christmas House

As we prepare for the coming of the homeless child, let us recognize our own sense of spiritual and existential homelessness as an expression of our desire to build false homes in the wrong places. We need to ask in all honesty where exactly is home? The answer is rather crucial because those who wait in an ultimate sense are not that far from that for which they wait.

Who can abide the day of his coming?

Abstract: The theme of Advent’s second Sunday is the coming of the messenger. The concept of a messenger whom God will send firmly links the O.T. reading from Malachi with Luke’s account of the arrival of John the Baptist upon the scene. There is a striking resemblance between Malachi’s messenger and Luke’s John the Baptist. The unexpected nature of the message poses a challenge to the hearer.

The searing words of the prophet Malachi burst into our own time with an intensity that is truly daunting when we stop to consider them:

But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

Malachi 3

Of course, these words immediately conjure to mind Handel’s haunting melodic aria of the same name in his oratorio The Messiah. Charles Brenner, a wealthy English landowner and a principal patron of George Frederick Handel complied the libretto for The Messiah, which Handel set to astonishing musical effect. In fact, Brenner complied the libretti for no less than five of Handel’s oratorios.

Malachi is among a slew of prophets known as the minor prophets, or alternatively, as the Twelve. The term minor refers not to the importance of their message but to the shortness of the books that bear their names.

We don’t know much about the prophet Malachi. In fact Malachi is not his name, but simply means messenger – something he makes clear in chapter three addressing the post-exilic community.

All twelve of the minor prophets speak into the historical period in the decades following the return of the Babylonian exiles in the middle of the fourth-century BC. The rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple expressed a powerful hope for a return to the glory days of King David.  The hope in this period could be summed up in the soundbite -let’s make Israel great again!

As Malachi surveyed his society he saw the misguided hopes of reconstruction that had failed to recreate the nostalgic dream for a new Davidic age. The renewed institutions of national life centered on the temple were debased and impoverished replicas of the return of longed for past.  Worship had degenerated into a listless perpetuation of form. The study of the Law – neglected. Taxes – unpaid. The Sabbath routinely broken. Intermarriage with pagans seemed the order of the day. The priesthood – corrupt, and the political leadership – self-serving. Into this moral vacuum Malachi proclaims God’s impending judgement- sounding a warning – the coming judgment of the Lord will be hard to bear.

The Lord will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver.

Malachi 3

The reference to the descendants of Levi makes clear that it is the priestly cast that Malachi has in his sights.

Judah’s Post-Exilic period typifies the problem when a nostalgic longing for a past that existed only in the hindsight of imagination becomes the template for a future as yet not only unrealized but unrealizable. This results is a present-time – marked by disillusionment and moral malaise. Doesn’t this at all sound rather familiar?

The contemporary religious scene in America is one in which the religious right continues to spiral into darker visions of craziness in their rush back to a past characterized by the violence of its racial and cultural white supremacy – the very qualities that are making this version of the past unrealizable in the future where the world has fundamentally changed. In their fear and frustration, they abandon the teaching of Jesus for the comforting paranoia of a primitive tribal religion of them and us. The left grows increasingly indifferent to, and dismissive of, a Christian voice in the civic square- while the middle ground of traditional moderation writhes in a crisis of confidence. Having privatized his message, the sensible middle no longer has the courage or energy to believe in the power of Jesus’ message of the kingdom.

We live in the post prophetic age. After John the Baptist there are no more prophets. As John proclaims – after me, there is only Jesus. We live in the post resurrection age or put another way – in the age between the first and second acts of the drama of the resurrection – between the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of the whole of creation. We live in the information age where there is only the message. Yet the blight of the information age is the confusion of misinformation. There is now a greater profusion of messages than ever before echoing the words of a more contemporary prophetic voice:

The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no near to God. ….

The cycles of heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

Choruses from 'The Rock' T.S. Elliot

The challenge for us is to know which message to trust and to give our allegiance to. We want an easy message or a message that does not disturb us too much. Most of us just want a quiet life.

The world of the first quarter of the 21st-century is in transition as the 20th-century’s social and political tectonic plates break apart and begin to realign. The rampant creed of individualism – unchecked, of globalized, unrestricted venture capitalism -unleashed, of wholesale destruction of the environment -present us the prospect of humanity’s very sticky end. As the tectonic plates of former certainties shatter, it will be the kind of message we embrace that will matter.

As the world continues to fail to meet the challenges of a global pandemic and climate emergency, we are reminded only too painfully that there will always be those who are easily manipulated into embracing the small and pernicious stories of our culture; stories which in the past have led us nowhere good. I speak here of traditions of racism, of gender oppression, of military adventurism, of planetary exploitation for personal profit, of both laissez faire economics and nationalist protectionism.

In times of affluence and prosperity the Christian message of hope loses it potency. Cocooned in self-satisfied prosperity, the Christian message loses its political bite. In such a world we who are self-sufficient have no need of it – as evidenced by declining church attendance. And yet in Advent we are reminded that hope springs eternal. Nevertheless, T.S. Eliot cautions us that hope will easily slip into hope for the wrong thing if our hope is only to be comfortable and left undisturbed. The danger for human beings is our tendency to settle for only that which our impoverished and venal imaginations are capable of conjuring. Hope, Eliot reminds us, is fulfilled only when we have the courage to wait as a future reshaped emerges slowly and at times painfully from our acknowledgment of past failures and a determination to learn from our mistakes.

The times when all seem lost are the times when we most need to see the people and ideas [the messenger and the message] trailblazing the way out of the muck.  

Ibram X Kendi with my bracketed insertion.

The Advent hope is the greater story of the reign of God’s justice: 

  • where racism is no longer intersecting with other bigotries to manipulate people away from their self-interest.
  • Where native and immigrant are united by common interest.
  • Where free high-quality healthcare is a universal right.
  • Where guns are as controlled as much as motor vehicles.
  • Where voting is easy and accessible.  Where human activity is no longer the principle cause of environmental catastrophe.
  • Where to be fully human is through embracing humanity fully?

Who can endure the day of the Lord’s coming? The future begins now!

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