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The Creation Story
 
Genesis 1:1ff

First Day

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.
And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Second Day

And God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

Third Day

And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so.God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
And God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth." And it was so.
The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

Fourth Day


And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years,
and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so.
And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also.
And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth,
to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Fifth Day

And God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens."
So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."
And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

Sixth Day


And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so.
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.


Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." 
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

Seventh Day

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.
So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.

For Genesis 2:4ff, The Second Creation Story

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The Ten Commandments
Exodus Chapter 20: 1-17

And God spoke all these words, saying,
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work;
but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates;
for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's."

For the alternative version:
Deuteronomy, Chapter 5

 

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The Lord is My Shepherd
Twenty-third Psalm

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff,
they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil,
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for ever.

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The Suffering Servant
Isaiah Chapter 53

Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrow; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand;
he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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Prologue To the Gospel of St. John
John 1:1ff

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God;
all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
(John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'")
And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"
He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ."
And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" And he answered, "No."
They said to him then, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, `Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said."
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.
They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?"
John answered them, "I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know,
even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie."
This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
This is he of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.'
I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel."
And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.
I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples;
and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"
The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.
Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, "What do you seek?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ).
He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter).
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, "Follow me."
Now Philip was from Beth-sa'ida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
Philip found Nathan'a-el, and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
Nathan'a-el said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
Jesus saw Nathan'a-el coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"
Nathan'a-el said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
Nathan'a-el answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these."
And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."

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Sermon on the Mount
Matthew Chapter 5 (and continuing through Chapter 7)

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.
For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.'
But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.
So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.'
But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.'
But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
et what you say be simply `Yes' or `No'; anything more than this comes from evil.
You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;
and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;
and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

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The Crucifixion Story
Luke, Chapter 23


Then the whole company of them arose, and brought him before Pilate.
And they began to accuse him, saying, "We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king."
And Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him, "You have said so."
And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, "I find no crime in this man."
But they were urgent, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place."
When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.
And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him.
So he questioned him at some length; but he made no answer.
The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him.
And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then, arraying him in gorgeous apparel, he sent him back to Pilate.
And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.
Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him;
neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Behold, nothing deserving death has been done by him;
I will therefore chastise him and release him."
But they all cried out together, "Away with this man, and release to us Barab'bas" --
a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city, and for murder.
Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus;
but they shouted out, "Crucify, crucify him!"
A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no crime deserving death; I will therefore chastise him and release him."
But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed.
So Pilate gave sentence that their demand should be granted.
He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, whom they asked for; but Jesus he delivered up to their will.
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyre'ne, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.
And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him.
But Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
For behold, the days are coming when they will say, `Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!'
Then they will begin to say to the mountains, `Fall on us'; and to the hills, `Cover us.'
For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.
And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.
And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments.
And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!"
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar,
and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong."
And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour,
while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last.
Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, and said, "Certainly this man was innocent!"
And all the multitudes who assembled to see the sight, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts.
And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance and saw these things.
Now there was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathe'a. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man,
who had not consented to their purpose and deed, and he was looking for the kingdom of God.
This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud, and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb, where no one had ever yet been laid.
It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.
The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid;
then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

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All Who are Led by the Spirit of God are Sons of God
Romans Chapter 8

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot;
and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.
So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh --
for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are Sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of Sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!"
it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God;
for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now;
and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.
And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.
And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?
Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies;
who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, "For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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The Greatest of these is love
First Corinthians, Chapter 13


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;
it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;
but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

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I saw a new heaven and a new earth
Revelation Chapter 21

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;
and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away."
And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true."
And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment.
He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb."
And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed;
on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And he who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls.
The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its breadth; and he measured the city with his rod, twelve thousand stadia; its length and breadth and height are equal.
He also measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits by a man's measure, that is, an angel's.
The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass.
The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,
the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it,
and its gates shall never be shut by day -- and there shall be no night there;
they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

 

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Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
  CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.