Sunday’s sermon: The Path Less Traveled


Texts used – Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Hebrews 10:32-11:3





  • Throughout this Greatest Showman sermon series, we’ve talked about the dreams that God has for us and for the Kingdom of God.
    • Talked about how incredible God’s dream is
    • Talked about how treasured we are by God, how loved we are by God → how much God wants to be in relationship with us
    • Talked about how we tend to get in our own way sometimes when it comes to saying “yes” and buying into those dreams that God has – both for the Kingdom of God and for our own lives
    • Today’s question: What if we actually do say “yes”? → Before we go any further, let’s listen to the song “Tightrope” – [PLAY “Tightrope”[1]]

  • Context for the song
    • Last week – talked about love stories and how they add a powerful element to a storyline, even if that storyline isn’t strictly a typical “love story” → talked about Phillip Carlyle and Anne Wheeler (characters)
    • This week focuses on love story between P.T. Barnum and his wife, Charity → love story that plays a central role throughout the movie from the very beginning
      • Movie actually starts with Barnum and Charity as children
        • Barnum himself grew up poor – the son of a tailor until his father died and left him with nothing
          • Movie version: looks like he was orphaned
          • Real life: left to provide for his mother and 5 sisters and brothers[2]
        • Charity was the opposite – grew up a wealthy heiress
      • The two fall in love as children → marry as adults → begin their life together far from the lavishness and luxury that Charity grew up with → And in the movie version at least, this grates on Barnum. He wants to be able to provide his beloved wife Charity with the same life that she’s used to (despite her own protestations that all she wants is to be with him), and he wants to be “good enough” in her father’s eyes.
      • Barnum becomes a great success as a circus showman → brings Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind to America and begins touring with her → leaves Charity and their two daughters at home missing him → That’s where this song comes into the movie. It’s a song sung by Charity in Barnum’s absence. All she wants is the husband she fell in love with to return.
        • Song speaks of taking a chance on their love
        • Song speaks of the exhilaration and excitement of love
          • Not easy
          • Not sure
          • Not “safe” compared to the standards she grew up with (financially or in terms of proper society and reputation and all things pompous and stuffy like that)
        • The point: they took on all that risk and adventure together
  • Hmmmm … I wonder what this could possibly have to say about our faith. It’s definitely true that throughout the historical life of the Church (that’s capital “C” Church, as in the Church universal), there have been lots of times when having faith … keeping faith … sharing faith … teaching faith … practicing faith as a Christian was risky. It could get you shunned. It could get you imprisoned. It could even get you killed.
    • Definitely true for the early church → church as it was developing in the 1st following Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension
      • Majority of Christ’s original 12 disciples ended up martyred for their faith in some way
      • Much of the writing of the NT – by Paul, especially, but also by others – speaks to keeping and nurturing and persevering in faith despite adversity and persecution
  • Today’s passage from Hebrews = just such a passage
    • Hebrews = a bit of a nebulous book in the NT
      • One of the many letters/epistles – nebulous in both its authorship and its intended audience → not exactly sure who wrote it or who it was written to[3]
        • Long considered one of Paul’s letters, but scholars today mostly agree that it’s too different from Paul’s other writings in content, in form, and in writing style for it to actually be written by Paul BUT not consensus as to who actually did write it
        • Earliest fragment we have of this manuscript (dating from early 3rd BCE) includes a heading “To Hebrews” without really indicating who or where those general “Hebrews” might be → clear from the content of the letter itself that whatever community of “Hebrews” is receiving this letter is a community in turmoil
          • Speaks reassuringly of who Jesus was as both a human and as the Son of the Most High God
          • Speaks of completeness – the all-encompassing nature of salvation in Christ = Christ’s “once-for-all sacrifice”
          • Speaks of hope and perseverance and encouragement in faith, even in the face of difficult, painful, challenging circumstances
    • Beginning of today’s passage: But remember the earlier days, after you saw the light. You stood your ground while you were suffering from an enormous amount of pressure. Sometimes you were exposed to insults and abuse in public. Other times you became partners with those who were treated that way. You even showed sympathy toward people in prison and accepted the confiscation of your possessions with joy, since you knew that you had better and lasting possessions.[4] → Clearly the Hebrews have faced some sort of adversity in the practice and outward display of their faith, enough to cause them public humiliation, abuse, and “the confiscation of [their] possessions.”
    • Letter provides encouragement in the face of those injustices – text: But we aren’t the sort of people who timidly draw back and end up being destroyed. We’re the sort of people who have faith so that our whole beings are preserved. Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.[5]
  • Same encouragement that our Deut passage has provided for people of Israel for centuries
    • First verse = “the Shema”: She-ma yisrael, adonai eloheinu, adonai echad → “Israel, listen! Our God is the Lord! Only the Lord!”[6]
      • Prayer that is used as the centerpiece for both morning and evening prayers in the Jewish faith
      • Prayer that is traditionally affixed somewhere on the doorpost of a Jewish home → fulfills the rest of the Deut passage: These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. … Write them on your house’s doorposts and on your city’s gates.[7]
    • Part of what was given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai when he was also given the 10 commandments
      • Given on the heels of escaping not only slavery in Egypt but also Pharaoh’s attempt to retrieve the Hebrew people (thwarted by God at the Red Sea)
      • Given in the face of pure and unimaginable uncertainty → God said, “I will take you out of Egypt and lead you to the promised land,” but God didn’t give them a map. God didn’t give them GPS coordinates. God didn’t give them photographic proof that said “promised land” actually existed. They were literally walking on faith and faith alone.
    • Makes these words even more reassuring
      • Reassurance in the power and perseverance of faith
      • Reassurance in the validity and importance of faith → It’s God saying, “These words that I’m giving you – ‘Israel, listen! Our God is the Lord! Only the Lord! Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being and all your strength’ – these words are so important that you should keep them with you always. Remember them. Recite them. Teach them. Even wear them on your arm and display them on your homes and on your cities. They will remind you of your faith. They will remind you of me.”
    • Song: Hand in my hand and we promised to never let go / We’re walking the tightrope / High in the sky / We can see the whole world down below / We’re walking the tightrope / Never sure, never know how far we could fall / But it’s all an adventure / That comes with a breathtaking view / Walking the tightrope / With you
  • You know, it’s those last two words – of the chorus and even of the whole song itself – that are the most crucial: With you. → reminder that even on this crazy, uncertain, adventurous ride of life and faith, we’re not walking alone
    • Walking it with greater community of faith → brothers and sisters in this room and around the world
    • Walking it with God: Hand in my hand and you promised to never let go → text: Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.
    • Cannot read these words or preach this message this morning without seeing the images that have filled all the news outlets in the last weeks and months, friends → images from the border
      • Families torn apart
      • People, including children of all ages, detained for days and weeks and months in cells that are horrifically overcrowded and woefully lacking in basic amenities like drinkable water and a working toilet
      • Piles and piles of rosaries confiscated from detainees for God-knows-what reason
      • Sometimes the uncomfortable, uncertain, far from “simple and planned” part of faith is speaking up in the face of injustice, and what is currently happening to those who have taken their own terrifying, life-altering leap of faith in seeking legal asylum in this country is indeed an injustice.
        • In the words of our NT reading:
          • Experiencing suffering
          • Experiencing an enormous amount of pressure
          • Experiencing insults and public abuse
          • Experiencing the confiscation of their property
    • Quote from Nelson Mandela: “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”
    • Text put it another way: We aren’t the sort of people who timidly draw back and end up being destroyed. We’re the sort of people who have faith so that our whole beings are preserved. → When God calls us out into uncomfortable space, what kind of people will we be? What risks are we willing to take – for our faith, for the sake of our brothers and sisters, for our God? Will we timidly draw back, or will we have faith? Amen.


[1] “Tightrope” written by Justin Paul, Benj Pasek, © 2017 Sony/ATV Music.


[3] Fred B. Craddock. “The Letter to the Hebrews: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections” in The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary series, vol. 12. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998), 6-8.

[4] Heb 10:32-34.

[5] Heb 10:39-11:1.

[6] Deut 6:4.

[7] Deut 6:6, 9.

Sunday’s sermon: For God So Loved the World …

love silhouette

Texts used – Matthew 10:26-33; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13





  • So many great stories include a thread of love woven throughout, don’t they?
    • Sometimes the whole story is about love
      • Romeo and Juliet
      • Beauty and the Beast
      • Doctor Zhivago
      • Just about anything written by Jane Austen
    • Sometimes the story is a different kind of story – not a “love story” per say – but includes within it a powerful tale of love all the same
      • The Sound of Music = not really a love story, but love plays a powerful role
      • The Hobbit trilogy (directed by Peter Jackson) = definitely not a love story as a whole but love story between an elf and a dwarf adds a heart-tugging element to such an epic quest narrative
      • Elements of love stories woven throughout the entire Marvel comic movie series (all 23 movies from the first Iron Man movie released in 2008 to Captain Marvel released just this year)
    • And while I don’t think The Greatest Showman can be categorized strictly as a love story, there is still two moving tales of love woven throughout the main storyline that add a powerful element to the main storyline.
      • Talk about one of them next week: love between Barnum and his wife, Charity
      • Today: story of Phillip Carlyle and Anne Wheeler
        • Reminder: Carlyle is the upper-crust playwright that Barnum recruited to help produce his circus show
        • Anne Wheeler = one of a pair of sibling trapeze artists
        • From the moment Phillip Carlyle sees Anne Wheeler, he is smitten. It’s one of those movie moments when everything – the filming, the sound, everything – slows down just to emphasize how important it really is.
        • Clear pretty early on that Anne has feelings for Phillip, too
        • 2 problems
          • First: Phillip is part of the upper-class elite, Anne is a lowly street performer
          • Even more egregious in the 1850s: Phillip is white, Anne is black → Being born into a place of wealth and privilege, Phillip doesn’t understand the problem throughout much of the movie. He tries to convince Anne that it doesn’t matter, that he loves her no matter what, that they can be together despite what people think. But having experienced the real world with all its prejudice and ugliness and slammed doors, Anne is much more hesitant. She pulls back. She puts up walls. She tries to convince herself she doesn’t love Phillip because she’s “not supposed to.”
            • All plays out in our next song – [PLAY “Rewrite the Stars”[1]]

  • Okay, so do you remember when we said that The Greatest Showman was loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum and the origins of his circus empire? Well, this whole storyline between Phillip Carlyle and Anne Wheeler falls under the “loosely” part of that description.[2]
    • There was no Phillip Carlyle in real life
    • There was no Anne Wheeler in real life (though there certainly were trapeze performers)
    • Unfortunately, the expansive inclusiveness portrayed by Barnum in the movie – including hiring black performers at a time when that was taboo – is also fictional → though he expressed anti-slavery convictions, many of Barnum’s actions displayed engrained racism
  • Be that as it may, this song still expresses a critical element of our relationship with God: the back-and-forth nature of God’s love for us and our love for God.
    • Easier to hear the 2 voices in this one → I hear …
      • God = Phillip Carlyle character
        • Expressing desire, longing, and devotion
        • Expressing trust and hope in the love held and harbored
        • Expressing disregard for what the outside world might think
      • We = Anne Wheeler character
        • Hinting at love but finding excuses
        • Hinting at hope but expecting problems and adversity
        • Hinting at desire but being turned away time and again by fear and hesitation
      • Give and take of this plays out quite dramatically in the movie – whole song is done in the circus ring while Anne is practicing some of her aerial work → The rest of the performance space is dark. Only the ring is lit. And while Phillip stands in the center of the ring, Anne is continuously swinging and spinning and flying around him just out of reach … until Phillip grabs hold of a rope himself and begins to spin and fly with her.
    • Friends, how often do we spend most of our conversation with God sounding so much like Anne – coming up with one reason after another why God won’t love us … shouldn’t love us … couldn’t possibly love us? How often do we erect a wall because it feel safer to hide behind that wall than to take a chance on the incredible love that God has to offer? How often do we let the thinking of the world around us – the people around us, the culture, the trends and the norms, the pull of everything else … how often do we let that convince us that God’s love cannot truly be a part of our lives? That we cannot give ourselves over to God’s love fully and unconditionally because something about it might not work? Too often, I think. Far, far too often. We sell ourselves short. We certainly sell God short. We forget just how much God loves us and the lengths to which God has gone to show us that love. So today, let me remind you.
  • [hold up Bible] This book? This familiar book right here? This is God’s declaration of love for us. → sort of like stories that we talked about at the beginning – many of the tales in here aren’t “love stories” per say, but there is a powerful thread of love woven throughout: God’s love for us
    • God’s love expressed in creation
    • God’s love displayed in the vibrant arc and promise of a rainbow
    • God’s love enacted in a burning bush and in plagues that led to Pharoah freeing the Hebrew slaves in Egypt
    • God’s love nourishing the people as they wandered through the wilderness for a generation
    • God’s love spoken time and time again through the prophets
    • God’s love proclaimed throughout the psalms
    • God’s love embodied in a tiny, vulnerable, lovesome baby in a manger … who grew to be a man with a lesson of love on his lips, healing in his touch, and a cross at his back
      • Familiar verse that so many know so well: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.[3] → follow-up verse: God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.[4]
        • Gr. “love” = (not surprisingly) agape love → selfless, giving, charitable, altruistic love – love that would do anything for the other
        • Gr. “judge” = connotations of separation → So God came down into this world in the person of Jesus Christ to embody a love so powerful, so connectional, so fundamental that through that love, we would no longer be separated from God. That is how much God desires us. That is how much God longs for us to say “yes” to God. That is how much God loves us.
    • Loves us enough to bear the cross for us
    • Loves us enough to endure the grave for us
    • Loves us enough to conquer death for us → truly rewriting the stars – reweaving the fabric of the world – so that we could spend eternity with God in glory and light and love: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.
  • Today’s Gospel reading
    • Jesus reminding the disciples of the expansiveness and totality of that love – text: Aren’t two sparrows sold for a small coin? But not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father knowing about it already. Even the hairs on your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.[5] → Let’s talk about the role of sparrows for a minute. What’s the deal with sparrows?
      • Sparrows = most sacrificed by the poor in the temple
        • Small and insignificant = affordable, even for those who have little to nothing
        • Abundant (no shortage of sparrows and other small birds) = expendable → no big deal if a few of them disappear, right?
        • So Jesus is saying to the disciples, “You see this tiny bird? This bird that is so unimportant that you probably wouldn’t even noticing it flitting about up in the sky? This bird that is so common, even those with nothing can afford to offer it in the temple as a sacrifice? God loves even this little bird enough to know when it falls to the ground … and God loves you infinitely more than this bird.”
  • Other NT passage = “love passage” from 1 Corinthians
    • Yes, this is the “wedding passage.” It’s appropriate for weddings because it speaks of the ideal, virtuous qualities of love: patience and kindness, empathy and compassion, humility, generosity, genuineness, and steadfast. – text: Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. Love never fails. … Now faith, hope, and love remain – these three things – and the greatest of these is love.[6] → This is that agape love, too. This is the kind of love that cherishes and sustains, that nurtures and believes, that forgives and accepts, that unbinds and frees. This is the kind of love that moves mountains. This is the kind of love that can rewrite the stars. This is how God loves us.
      • Text: Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.[7]
    • This is also the kind of love that can change us … but only if we let it. – text: If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever.[8] → Nothing about this love that God has for us will ever diminish us. It will not tear us down. It will not hurt us. It will not seek to get its own way in us. God stands before us offering us a love that is only ever going to enhance our lives, enliven our hearts, and nurture our worn and weary souls.
      • Purpose for coming to the table → table = place of forgiveness and grace and mercy and love overflowing
        • Table established in love – love of Jesus for his disciples, love of God for us
        • Table prepared in love – (say it every week) prepared by the love of human hands (those who help to serve) and the love of God for us
        • Table celebrated in love – reminding ourselves just how much God loves us and honoring that love in our actions
      • Love offered to us time and time again → How will you respond? Amen.

[1] “Rewrite the Stars” written by Justin Paul, Benj Pasek, © 2017 Sony/ATV Music.


[3] Jn 3:16.

[4] Jn 3:17.

[5] Mt 10:29-31.

[6] 1 Cor 13:7-8a, 13.

[7] 1 Cor 13:4-6.

[8] 1 Cor 13:1-3 (emphasis added).

Sunday’s sermon: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

i am enough

Texts used – Psalm 139; Matthew 5:13-16




  • It’s anthem day, y’all!! No matter who you are or where your interests lie, it cannot be denied that anthems make the world go ‘round, am I right?
    • Anthem (definition): a rousing or uplifting song identified with a particular group, body, or cause
    • Sports anthems
    • National
    • Personal – can be anything
      • Empowering (song that gets you through the tough times): “Fight Song” – Rachel Platten (2014) or “Brave” – Sara Bareilles (2013)
      • Uplifting (song that immediately makes you smile as soon as you hear it): “Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond (1969)
      • Emblematic (song that speaks to who you are at your core): “Born This Way” – Lady Gaga (2011)
    • For a lot of people, today’s song from The Greatest Showman – “This Is Me”[1] – has become that iconic, emblematic song for a lot of people. Let’s listen to it. – [PLAY “This Is Me”]

  • In terms of our faith … in terms of our Scripture readings for this morning … in terms of the lyrics of this song, I feel like this says it all.
    • Psalm 139 = Scriptural anthem of sorts for a lot of people, myself included
      • Scripture that is renewing and uplifting
      • Scripture that empowers
      • Scripture that brightens the spirit
      • Scripture that is significant and speaks powerfully to and for people’s journeys of faith
      • When I was first considering a call to ministry, I contacted a former minister of mine – Pastor Jamie Swanson, the pastor I’d had until I was about 10 yrs. old. At the time, he was serving a congregation in Streator, Illinois, and when I called to talk to him about what it might mean to be called – about ministry and life as a pastor and what the heck this pull that I might have been feeling on my heart could mean – one of the first things he said to me was, “Go and read Psalm 139.” → Scripture’s had a special place in my heart and in my ministry ever since
        • Bad news for y’all = I could talk about this psalm all day … but I won’t. 🙂
    • Uniqueness and individuality upheld in this psalm:
      • Text: Lord, you have examined me. You know me.[2]
        • Personal
        • Individual
        • Distinct
        • “Lord, you have examined You know me.” → not one of those communal psalms like the one we talked about last week – much more intimate than that
        • Heb. “examined” = fairly loaded word all sorts of meanings and nuances wrapped up in this little word
          • Thoroughness = “investigated” and “tried”
          • Enthusiasm = “explored” (elements of hope and discovery and excitement)
          • Mysteriousness = connotations of being impenetrable and unascertainable
          • Friends, these are all the ways that God has looked at us: lovingly and zealously searching and testing and studying every part of who we are, becoming intimately familiar with all that we are, all that we hope for, all that we hide from and all that we try to hide … the brave parts and the bruised parts, as our song says.
    • Profound, fundamental knowing idea that God knows us better than we know ourselves = powerful element woven throughout the psalm as well
      • Text: You know when I sit down and when I stand up. Even from far away, you comprehend my plans. You study my traveling and my resting. You are thoroughly familiar with all my ways. There isn’t a word on my tongue, Lord, that you don’t already know completely. … You are the one who created my innermost parts; you knit me together while I was still in my mother’s womb. … My bones weren’t hidden from you when I was being put together in a secret place, when I was being woven together in the deep parts of the earth.[3]
      • Implied in that “knowing” is that God is also both accepting and even delighted by us … by every part of us – text: I give thanks to you that I was marvelously set apart. Your works are wonderful – I know that very well.[4]  I think that this may be one of the lines in the Bible that we have the most trouble accepting. We live in a culture driven by advertising and various “betterment” industries, all clamoring to tell us exactly what’s wrong with us – how we could be better, smarter, richer, fancier, thinner, prettier, stronger, more satisfied, more successful, more effective, more driven, more powerful … more, more, more, better, better, better … so that all we end up hearing is, “Not enough. Not enough. Not enough.” Right?
        • Become such an engrained part of our culture that when superstar singer, producer, and songwriter Alicia Keys made the decision to stop wearing makeup altogether a few years ago, it was a HUGE deal!
          • Google search autofill: type “Alicia Keys” “no makeup” is the 6th most common search
          • Still something that reporters and journalists are asking her about website article from just a month ago[5]
        • In the face of all that “not enough,” it’s hard for us to stand up and declare, “I was marvelously set apart. Your works are wonderful … including me.” Or, as your pew Bible puts it, “I praise you, God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” It’s hard for us to make that kind of bold, self-confident proclamation and actually believe it, isn’t it? But that’s the thing: that’s the heart of this passage, and that’s the heart of our song – saying, “Yes, God, I have flaws and imperfections, but this is me. This is me. This is me with all my brokenness and bruises. This is me with all my scars and shame. This is me. And you made me. And you love me. And that’s beautiful … beautiful enough to convince me to love me, too.”
          • Song: I am not a stranger to the dark / Hide away, they say / ‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts / I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars / Run away, they say / No one’ll love you as you are / But I won’t let them break me down to dust / I know that there’s a place for us / For we are glorious … I am brave, I am bruised / I am who I’m meant to be / This is me[6] → That’s why this has become such a powerful anthem for so many people today – people who have been told by society, by the people around them, by their classmates and co-workers and everyone else that, for whatever reason, they don’t measure up … that they aren’t good enough. This songs says, “You know what? Yes, I am. I am exactly who I’m meant to be, and I am glorious.”
            • Story of Emily
  • Part of claiming that we are, indeed, fearfully and wonderfully made is also claiming that God has a purpose for us in this world enter our NT reading this morning
    • Text: You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.[7]
      • Recognizes that there is something special about YOU
        • Something particularly salty
        • Something particularly light
        • A special element about who you are – broken edges, bruises, scars, and all – that adds to this world in a way no one else can
          • Song: When the sharpest words wanna cut me down / I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out / I am brave, I am bruised / I am who I’m meant to be / This is me / Look out ‘cause here I come / And I’m marching on to the beat I drum / I’m not scared to be seen / I make no apologies / This is me[8]
        • Special, particular way that you and only you can reflect the nature and wonder and beauty and love of God in this world
          • From When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner: You, you, when God made YOU / God made you all shiny and new. An incredible you, a you all your own, a you unlike anyone else ever known. / An exclusive design, one God refined, / you’re a perfectly crafted one of a kind. / ‘Cause when God made you, / somehow God knew / that the world needed someone / exactly like you.[9]
          • Julia Cameron, American teacher and prolific writer: All of us contain a divine, expressive spark, a creative candle intended to light our path and that of our fellows.
  • So hear me this morning, friends. Hear me loud and clear: You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God knows you inside and out – better than you even know yourself, and God finds you marvelous. God finds you brave and bruised, broken and beautiful. No matter what, God loves you. No matter what, God delights in you. No matter what, God created you to be a bold and treasured light in this world. Thanks be to God. Amen.

[1] “This Is Me” written by Justin Paul, Benj Pasek, © 2017 Sony/ATV Music.

[2] Ps 139:1.

[3] Ps 139:2-4, 13, 15.

[4] Ps 139:14.


[6] “This Is Me” written by Justin Paul, Benj Pasek, © 2017 Sony/ATV Music.

[7] Mt 5:13-16.

[8] “This Is Me” written by Justin Paul, Benj Pasek, © 2017 Sony/ATV Music.

[9] Matthew Paul Turner. When God Made You. (Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Books, 2017), 1-2.