Please open your Bibles to Genesis chapter 34 and we will read the entire chapter. As mentioned this morning, I to share the the same uh, I am too, I am amazed as well at the divine providence of the Lord as to how this morning was about fathers, and this afternoon was, is also about fathers. I’ll be honest, we certainly did not intend that. Totoo, hindi talaga. But, yeah, it’s amazing and I just wanna begin by just saying how God indeed has control and He intentionally loves the church. So please go to Genesis chapter 34 and we will read the text.
Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her. And his soul was drawn to Dinah the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this girl for my wife.” Now Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah. But his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. The sons of Jacob had come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, and the men were indignant and very angry, because he had done an outrageous thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing must not be done. But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your[a] daughter. Please give her to him to be his wife. Make marriages with us. Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. You shall dwell with us, and the land shall be open to you. Dwell and trade in it, and get property in it.” Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “Let me find favour in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give. Ask me for as great a bride-price[b] and gift as you will, and I will give whatever you say to me. Only give me the young woman to be my wife.” The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah. They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. Only on this condition will we agree with you—that you will become as we are by every male among you being circumcised. Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people. But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter, and we will be gone.” Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor’s son Shechem. And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he delighted in Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most honoured of all his father’s house. So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, “These men are at peace with us; let them dwell in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters as wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only on this condition will the men agree to dwell with us to become one people—when every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. Will not their livestock, their property and all their beasts be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will dwell with us.” And all who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. On the third day, when they were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males. They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and went away. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and plundered. Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.” But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?” The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
In the past chapters as we have learned in the last weeks we saw Jacob having that encounter with the Lord. He wrestled with God as you remember. And then after that, he reconciled with his brother, Esau. We saw these chapters, these great moments in the life of Jacob. Now chapter 34. we come to this chapter. Dinah, his daughter was defiled, was humiliated, was raped by Shechem. She was held there, kidnapped and then he decided, Shechem decided that he wants to marry this girl after humiliating her. For he loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. Of course we know that that’s not love. He was insistent. We see the journey this life of Jacob after his encounter with God, reconciliation of Esau, and that with Esau rather, and then this event in chapter 34. We’ve read in the end of chapter 33 that he parted ways with Esau. He went to Canaan, in fact the city of Shechem is within the land of Canaan. But we see here that this is not the, this is, this is not supposed to be the destination of Jacob. Hence, he is now encountering this problem with the Shechemites, specifically Hamor and Shechem. Shechem raping Dina, humiliating Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and now wanting to marry her asking, Shechem asking now his father how much he wants the girl. It was to get the girl. Now he was an obedient father, Hamor. He went to Jacob, and when Jacob learned about the that the defilement of uh of Dinah, we see his reaction, his response was, he wasjust quiet, right. Nakita natin, napakaganda yung nangyari sa kanya before, and then eto, tapos biglang, teka, wala man lang response si Jacob nung nangyari ito. Baka nagulat lang siya o, ano kaya? Godly ba itong response ni Jacob dito? When he found out that his daughter was raped, Jacob was more reactive in fact of nabasa natin yung nangyari when Simeon and Levi wanted to avenge theirsister’s defilement. They murdered Shechem and Hamor. We see the reaction of Jacob, he was more affected by the fact that his reputation will be I mean, sabi niya uh he will be a kumbaga, masisira yung kanyang reputasyon, yung kanyang pangalan dito sa lugar na ito. We see a different kind of Jacob here from the past chapters that we saw.
Well this is a very difficult chapter. Many theologians would want to really give a commentary of such chapter if you go to, if you read A.W. Pink’s commentary, walang chapter 34, and a lot more. Because admittedly, this is a very difficult one. I mean we can blame everyone..oh si Dinah, kasi lumabas siya eh. Nakipag-fellowship siya sa mga women; oh, si Shechem, he’s a Canaanite, oh Simeon and Levi or murderers. I mean we can blame everyone in this chapter. But I think there’s a clear indication of the faults of the fathers in this chapter.
And I’m not trying to just okay, today is a day that we celebrate the fathers.. no. You know we were in Genesis chapter 33 last week. Now the head of the family, the husbands, the fathers, who namely, Hamor, oh let’s include Hamor, Hamor and Jacob are two people who should have been great examples to their children. Well, okay, Hamor was a Canaanite so we would expect more of Jacob here. Especially after seeing the face of God, especially after experiencing the grace of God. When he reconciled with Esau. Oh, he has experienced many things from God already, yet, here we can see a different side of Jacob. Well we can say, and I would say, the scriptures recognise that Jacob is indeed faithful, Hebrews chapter 11. But he’s also, he’s still a sinner like us. We must understand that. We can all see how this chapter shows us all these familiar failings of fathers. The exact events that happened here may not happen to us. I mean, I hope not for us fathers. But would you agree that the actions done or even in actions of the father here, Jacob, are all familiar to us because even the fathers of today commit the same sins. Primarily the sins of not dealing with sin, dealing sin in their own households. Hindi niya dineal yung sin na nangyari sa kanyang anak. Hence, iba yung nag-deal! Nagkaroon ng, naging iba yung leader ng kanilang pamilya, right. Ganito ang nangyari.
Kaya ang mensahe natin, our message this afternoon is simply this that The Head Of The Family Is Giving Authority To Deal With The Sins Of The Household. I think that is also clear what we can see in the life of Jacob here. I’m not just calling, I’m not just extending, not just calling the fathers, but also the husbands, the head of the family. You are a given authority to deal with the sins of the household. What kind of authority a father has? Let me have let me give two points to you. Firstly, there is this Paternal Responsibility and secondly, Personal Responsibility.
Let us consider the first one, Paternal Responsibility. So again, it would be easy to say, well, Dinah should not have gone to see the women of the land, verse 1. Bakit pa siya lumabas, right we need to be careful here. She’s the victim. Biktima talaga si Dinah dito, mga kapatid, okay. We can say, pwede mong sabihin, tama naman, ba’t siya lumabas, there is truth in that, but let us be reminded biktima rin si Dinah dito. The problem here firstly is that Jacob camped in the city of Shechem and bought a land there. Bumili siya ng lupa at nag-dwell sila doon. Hindi natin alam kung how long they stayed there. That wasn’t part of the plan. If we go to Genesis chapter 28 which we read a while ago in our scripture reading, after the dream of Jacob, he dreamt of God. If you remember the ladder where there angels ascending and descending and on top of the ladder, he saw God; after that he slept; when he woke up, do you remember what happened? That’s what we read a while ago, he set up a pillar and called the name of the place where he slept, Bethel which is also inside Canaan. And he made a vow there that he will make that place the house of God. And while it is right that Jacob was supposed to be in Canaan and part ways with Esau, who is on his route to Seir. Now Jacob should be in Canaan, and that’s right, he is in the city of Shechem which is in the land of Canaan, but that is not the exact place where they should dwell.
Jacob reminds us Lot who parted ways with Abraham and he dwelt where? just near Sodom, Sodom, konti na lang, Sodom na siya. And we would read after, he was kidnapped and then afterwards he is now living inside Sodom, right.
Jacob was like that here. There is, you can call this an ‘almost obedience,’ almost. So living and dwelling in a place where they are fully surrounded by these Canaanites would not protect himself and his household. You are the head, Jacob. Hence, the defiling of Dinah happened. It happened because of the decision made by their father to stay there. If you think it wasn’t dangerous, I mean just look at these Canaanites. See how rape looks normal for Shechem; how he had no ounce of remorse, wala siyang remorse. How he had no respect for his own father. Oh I want that girl for my wife! How their family had the gall to even go to the family of Dinah, while Dinah was held captive in their own house. Jacob did not protect his family. The fact that they lived there, again, we don’t know how long they stayed there. But the fact that Dinah went out to see the women of the land. It could be that the dwelling was too long for Dinah to be familiar with the women of the land. She’s less than 20 years old, by the way. Again, Jacob is not being a loving father here. And who else? Who else had firsthand experience of the perfect fatherhood than Jacob? He experienced the love and protection of his God for years. Sino pa ba ang mas naka-experience nito? Si Jacob! It was God who despite of the sins of Jacob, despite of the situation, God delivered Jacob. God protected Jacob from further falling into deep sin. Remember how God appeared to Laban and warned Laban, huwag mong sasaktan si Jacob.. don’t hurt Jacob. You remember that? Remember how God appeared to Jacob many times and reiterated his Covenant with Him.. I will be with you. I will preserve you. I will protect you. I will provide for you. Jacob had an example to imitate. Most importantly, we see the love of God by forgiving Jacob’s sins. God chose Jacob and his future descendants so that as we know Jesus Christ would come from their line, and make an atonement for Jacob and the rest of God’s people by dying on that cross and rising from the dead. God has granted repentance and faith to Jacob so that he’ll be forgiven of his sins.
That same call to repent and have faith is offered to everyone here. You see the point is that Jacob had that experience. He had that example of a kind of fatherhood that he should have been giving to his own children, to his own household. Jacob has been redeemed by God. I’m not saying that just because Jacob sinned greatly in this chapter, he’s not the only one. I mean you can, you can look at Simeon and Levi. But doesn’t annul the fact that he has been redeemed by God. He has been called to repent of his sins and have faith in the coming Messiah. And you and I know the entire story of the Messiah in our time. The same call of coming to faith, repenting of our sins, and coming to faith in Christ is extended to everyone especially those who have those who have not yet surrendered their life to Christ, you’re called to repent of your sins and come to faith in Him. It doesn’t mean that you will be perfect. It doesn’t mean that you will be a perfect father. You will be like Jacob. But if you are like Jacob, a father, a husband, the head of the family, it is your godly duty to keep the household away from sin. I mean that is obvious… Jacob should have gone to Bethel. Hindi na dapat siya nag-dwell sa Shechem. What do you expect?
You go to the text to the next chapter, God calls Jacob; you know what Jacob says to his household? Remove all the gods that are among you. See what happened? What happened if you, what will happen if you stay? Jacob, what will happen to your household. It is your godly duty fathers, husbands, to keep your household away from sin; to keep them away from Shechem; to keep them away from the land of Shechem; protect them.
You know, there’s this duck, I don’t know his name.. there’s this duck together with its ducklings. They went to a swamp. Now the duck already saw many crocodiles who will probably eat them and yet they went to the swamp. Lumangoy sila. And he led his ducklings to death. What do you expect? Will you also go to the swamp? Will you lead your family, your household to the swamp? I hope not. Fathers, this is my challenge for all fathers who are here, husbands, head of the family, Make Every Eﬀort To Protect Your Household From Sin. Make every effort, spend time reading the word with your wives, with your children,
teaching them about the works of God, spend time praying for and praying with them, spend time singing hymns with them, hindi yun nakakahiya sa loob ng bahay; be involved in the lives of your family. If your sons and daughters are not yet married, it means that they’re still under your authority, you are the father, you are the head of the family, be involved in their lives. Assume the responsibility as the head. I know most of us become busy because of work and that is fine. But please, please find time, arrange your schedule where even a few minutes of your time, those few moments are so important for your family, father, husband, the head..alam kong busy ka… find time. Sobrang importante yung mga few moments na yan.
There was a Christian author who, he lived in the 1800’s. When he grew up, nag-backslid siya. And at the time when he was struggling with sin, the one that was brought to his mind by the Holy Spirit was the time when his parents who spent precious time with him. Little times of reading the word, sharing the gospel to him, these are the times that he remembered. When he was struggling with sin, that was brought to his mind when he was struggling with sin..yun yung naalala niya, precious time with his parents, with his father and that thought helped him go back to God. I mean he knows the gospel, nagba-backslide siya eh. But it made an effect in his heart. Years after, wala na yung mga magulang niya. But see how such moments are important. In most of us fathers, we binabalewala natin yung mga moments na iyon. Hindi natin alam that God can even use such moments for the future generations to be reminded of the grace of God.
So fathers, even mothers, make every effort to protect your household from sin. But let me tell you the best way to protect your household is to be in the household of God. That’s where Jacob were supposed to go. The safest place in Canaan is Bethel. Of course saying that in the context now, ‘no. Baka you might understand Bethel to be a different Bethel. I’m referring to Bethel, Canaan
Bethel, the household of God, Bethel. Yeah, you can say that he built an altar there in the city of Shechem, at the end of Genesis chapter 33. T Nag-build siya ng altar dun eh..dun sa lugar Nina Shechem. But they’re surrounded by pagans.
And the threat to get Jacob and his family to worship other god is greater. To be in Bethel is what he was supposed to go. So brothers, bring your household to the house of God. Whenever the members of the household meet and gather.
And this is again, a familiar problem in every household especially of the fathers or the husbands. Well it’s important for the head of the family to teach his wife, to teach his children about the word of God at home, to warn them of what God hates. These are things are truly important yes, but to bring them directly to God where God dwells, to bring them to a place where God communicates His blessings, to bring them to a place where God calls sinners to repentance in faith, is the way that God has ordained to bring people, to bring your household, to bring your family closer to God and to keep your family away from Shechem, from sin.
May we be like Joshua. When the others are tempted to worship other gods, he made that wonderful commitment. Joshua chapter 24 verse 15… as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” If you are a father, if you are a husband, if you are the head of the family, what are you allowing your wife, your children to digest? Can you see the growth in your wives? in your children? The growth that only God can give, the growth in their hearts to worship the Lord. Nag-g- grow ba ang desire nila to worship the Lord? Is it something that you are seeing? While we can say that they live their, yes, they are kumbaga that’s their individual life. At the end of the day they will sin.. individual life na, if they sin, that’s their own sin, right. We can say that. The fathers, husbands, it is you who are given the authority to deal with sin in your household. Tinatawag tayong head, Ephesians chapter 5.. head. Ephesians chapter 6 who is called, who is, who is called by Paul to teach their children. It doesn’t mean, Paul did not mean that mothers cannot
teach their children. He says in first Timothy chapter 2 to for the mothers to also rear their children to Christ. But who is he calling to make sure that the the teachings, the rearing to Christ is happening in the household? Ephesians chapter 6 verse 4… fathers. And in context, Ephesians chapter 5.
Husband, you are the head of your wife, as Christ is the head of the church.
You are given the authority fathers, husbands, heads of the family to deal with sin in your households. But let me also extend the call to everyone.. wives, single men, single women, how do you keep yourself away from sin? Are you making, are you also making every effort to protect yourself or are you playing with fire? Are you on a swamp full of crocodiles? Are you dwelling in the city of Shechem? Bring yourselves as well to the household of God and keep away from sin. Now we see the root of Jacob’s decision to dwell and to stay for a while and Shechem. We will see this in the second point, my last point is Personal Responsibility.
Obviously Jacob had lack of oversight. He had authority and we just didn’t see it in this chapter. And we can see how the writer, Moses was trying to tell us as well how Jacob is indeed responsible. Because he’s the head. Verse one, Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, the daughter of Leah whom she had borne to Jacob; verse 3, Dinah the daughter of Jacob; verse 19, Jacob’s daughter; verse 7, 13, 25, the sons of Jacob. Jacob is responsible. And yet here we see the faithful Jacob again struggling with sin. Firstly, he was indifferent to sin. When he heard what happened to Dinah, we didn’t see any holy anger coming from Jacob. I mean there’s holy anger and you will be angry at sin if that happens to a father. But verse 5 says Jacob held his peace until his sons came. Well let me see what my sons would say about this issue. I’ll let them talk to Hamor and Shechem.
That’s the second thing. So there’s indifference to sin. Secondly, there is abdication from his role. Instead of answering to Shechem and saying no, we will not give you our daughter for marriage, no. We will not respond with sin by allowing my daughter to inter-marry. We will not respond with sin to the defilement to the sin that you committed, Shechem, we won’t do that. And so because of his abdication, it was his sons who acted and it was a sinful act as well. This reminds us of Laban who was the one acting when their father abdicated as well. When Rebekah wanted to go with the servant of Abraham to marry Isaac. Laban was the one who was deciding for Rebekah to stay longer. It wasn’t the parents of Rebekah. Now, that’s what we’re seeing here as well in Jacob. But it’s not just indifference to sin, it’s not just abdication from his role, it’s not the only sins that we’re seeing here. I mean after Simeon and Levi murdered the Shechemites, verse 30 tells us Jacob said to his sons: you have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, ginawa ninyo akong kasuklam-suklam sa mga nakatira dito sa lupaing ito…yun talaga yung Tagalog version..kasuklam-suklam. The Canaanites, the Perrizites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed. Both I and my household. The response is not: why did this happen to my daughter, Dinah why? or my sons, seek forgiveness for what you have done. Seek forgiveness from the Lord for what you have done for murdering the Shechemites. That wasn’t the response. Rather, he was thinking about his reputation. You see his pride here, he’s thinking more about himself. See, Jacob was still a sinner just like all of us. The Christian life is full of ups and downs of spiritual highs, spiritual downs. It is a life of continuous repentance and continuously putting your faith in the Lord. We live a life of always forgetting the graces of God and at the same time it is a life of God always reminding us of His grace. We keep on forgetting, God keeps on reminding. See what Jacob spoke to his sons. I exposed his true heart, it exposed his true need of God. And you know what we see in the next chapter, despite of the sins of Jacob in chapter 34, there is God who calls Jacob to Himself. He calls people to Himself. Genesis chapter 35 – arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau. This is God telling Jacob get out of there and come here; stay away from them and return to Me. What a forgiving God. Yeah the problem here is Jacob, the head of the family struggled with his sins. He was indifferent to sin and that led to indifference to God, that led him to not assuming his responsibility as the head, forgetting to imitate God. And then it was exposed at what’s in his heart, what’s important to him was his reputation. And that led to what? Staying in Shechem being complacent which led to his daughter being humiliated and raped, which led to his sons committing murder. That’s what happens when the father like Jacob also struggles with great sins. When we forget the grace of God. You see the father’s devotion to his God affects the entire household. It does. Now you may say, wait, was that Jacob’s fault? Siya lang ba talaga? Brethren, the headship is given to man. We’re not saying na walang fault ang bawat isa, but the headship is given to man. To the man, to the head, to Jacob, to all fathers, to all husbands. Yes we can’t say that the family members’ sins are their sins, but the responsibility to lead them is given to the fathers, it is given to the husbands. Hence, if the father, or if the husband’s personal responsibility to continue devoting himself to the Lord is scarce or non-existent, that it would definitely affect the household. So ang challenge ko sa lahat ng mga ama, mga husbands, head of the family: Be Disciplined In Your Devotion To The Lord. If not, you know we can be a hindrance to them. Just like when the disciples in Mark chapter 10, were stopping the parents to go to Christ, and Christ was indignant to them. And he said, let the children come to me. Now, we will be like the disciples stopping the children to come to Christ if we also are not disciplined in our devotion to the Lord. We can be that hindrance to our family when we ourselves do not come to the Lord. Now fathers and husbands, do not lose hope, do not lose hope. The role is indeed heavy Discouragements will come..discouragements because your wife will not be at times supportive or submissive; because they too, are struggling with sins. Fathers, husbands, discouragement will come as well because children will be unsubmissive as well, and so the tendency is that we veer away from the Lord.
Tat is the opposite of what God wants. Brothers, take care of your spiritual life, spiritual health. Your love for your family can be seen by how you discipline yourself in your spiritual life. Don’t lose hope. God calls us to stand on our feet; you are the head of the home just like Christ is the Head of the church. Christ gave Himself up for the church. Christ takes care of the church. Christ loves the church and fathers, husbands we are called to imitate Christ. We are called to this great work, this great work of redemption that Christ has done enables you to do this great work at home. Don’t lose hope. If you’re tempted to be indifferent to the sins in your household, look to Christ Who dealt with sin. If you’re tempted to abdicate from your roles, look to Christ who assume responsibility. He died on the cross for sins He did not commit. If you’re tempted to think about yourself, your reputations, if you’re tempted to be selfish, prideful, look to Christ who sacrificed Himself for our redemption. So fathers, happy father’s day. Let me remind you fathers and husbands, we are like Jacob.
These are truly familiar failings of a father, of a husband. Well you know what, this is also true of everyone here of mothers, wives, children, single men, single women, sons, daughters. Let me remind you all – we are like Jacob We all fall short, we all sin. But let me also encourage everyone – we are like Jacob… loved by the Father, redeemed by Christ; and when we sin, when we fail, He calls us in His word to come to Him. He calls us to repent, He calls us to have faith in Him because we have been reconciled to Him by the blood of Christ. That is our encouragement, that is our only hope whenever we fail. And we will fail at home, we will fail in life, we will have sins, we have remaining sins. Your only hope, your only comfort is none other than Christ and His accomplished work. So look to Him, run to Him, come to Him. Have faith in Him always. You will forget His grace. He loves us, He loves to remind us always of His grace. Go to the house of God and be reminded of it. Make every effort to protect your household, yourselves from sin and also be disciplined in your devotion to the Lord. That call extends to everyone.
Primarily, I challenge all the men to be men, the fathers to be men, the head of the family to be real men, and assume responsibility in the gospel. We see, we see that we we have that perfect example in the gospel. We see the love of the Father. We see the Headship of the Son. That is our model, we have to always look to the gospel. Let’s look at that and be, and imitate Christ, imitate God. He is our model of fatherhood, He is our model of headship. At the same time, when we fail, we will also look to Christ, look to the gospel because it is not our, not just our model; it is also our hope, our hope that when we fail, our labour in Christ is not in vain. Our hope is that when we fail and when we sin, it will happen. Christ has already accomplished His work. So brethren, look to the gospel, see the fatherhood and headship of Christ. It is our model and it is our hope when we sin and when we fail in our roads. May the word of our God enrich our knowledge of Him and master us to live in light of these truths.
Let us pray. Our great God and gracious Father, thank You Lord that we have a perfect example of fatherhood and that is You. Thank You oh Lord that we have a perfect example of being a Head of the family although we have Christ who is
the Head of the church. So Lord we pray that we continue to faithfully imitate You and that we continue to faithfully devote ourselves to You. So that we will always remember to protect ourselves but also our household, the people that You have assigned for us, that we are responsible with. So Lord give us strength and Lord, You know we can’t do it, we can’t do it apart from from the strength that You give us. So Lord may You, may You continue to remind us of Your grace. We can always draw strength from You. Lord as we remember and we we reflect on the challenges that You have presented to us since this morning up to this afternoon, and as we partake of the supper together as one church, Lord may we be reminded that we were unworthy and You have made us worthy in Christ and that Your work, Your Son’s work on that cross is enough for us to give us hope and comfort in this life. May the supper that we will partake with, may it continuously give us strength, may it refine our faith and may it remind us also of our unity as one church. And Lord, we bring back all the glory to You in Jesus Christ’s mighty Name, amen.