William Cimillo, on March 28, 1947, woke up and went to work like he did every other day.  He was a bus driver in New York City.  This day was a little bit different.  William started out on his normal route, and instead of making his first stop in New York City, he just kept driving.  He went to New Jersey and had a sandwich in a café for lunch, then he just kept driving more.  Driving and driving.  Eventually he got to Washington, D.C., in his RTD bus.  He got out, took a look at the White House and decided to keep going.  He traveled down the East Coast, from New York City to Hollywood, Florida, where eventually he ran out of money and gas.  He went for a night swim, camped that evening, and in the morning called his “former” employer.  He told them where he was and what he needed.  They sent the FBI to come and investigate—it was a state bus.  No one was able to drive the bus, so William had to drive the bus back to New York for them.  He did.  By the time he got there, word had spread about his little meltdown.  He was so popular that he was too popular to actually fire, so they had to keep him on staff.  They asked him what had happened, and he said, “I was just tired of it all.  I felt like a squirrel in a cage, just running around and around, and I guess it got the better of me.”  I think he was greeted with such fanfare when he got back to New York because EVERYBODY has thought about doing the same thing.  Haven’t we?  We’ve been on our way to work or an appointment and thought, “Heads: California, tails: Carolina.”  Right?  It’s just too much.

I think a lot of our lives we feel like….{Ryan blows up a balloon}….we’re full and life’s good.  Sometimes, because that’s the case at points in our life, we expect that it’ll be the case at every point in our life.  But we all know that that’s not true, don’t we?  There’s things that we walk through that sort of take the air out of us a little bit.  Some of you, in the last few weeks, have gotten a diagnosis from the doctor that you weren’t hoping to get and. . . . .{Ryan releases air from the balloon} it’s taken the air out of you.  Some of you in this room are single parents.  You’re working and holding together a family {Ryan lets out more air from the balloon}, and it feels like you’re on life support.  Like the waves are beating against your boat and when is it going to stop.  Some of you have some things that have happened in your past.  Maybe it’s abuse or maybe it’s bad decisions you’ve made, and anytime you let your mind relax, instead of disciplining yourself not to think about that. . . . .{Ryan releases more air out of the balloon} that’s what you think about.  I don’t know about you, but it can feel like {Ryan releases remaining air out of balloon and it’s deflated} the life that we were suppose to live that is full, and meaningful, and vibrant, is elusive.  We live in a day and time where we are more disconnected from the things that fill our soul than any generation in any time has ever been.  We are entertained, but we’re not enriched.  We’re busy, but we are not full.  Our schedules are jammed packed, but our souls are on life support.  We can look at a picture like that and go, “That looks about right.”  Especially after a week like, as a nation, we’ve walked through.  We can go, “It feels like we’re running on empty.”  It’s a condition we would call weariness, or a tiredness of soul, not just body, but soul, where we know that if we cut things out of our schedule, it doesn’t solve the problem.  If we go on vacation, it’s still there.

Jesus has words for us, words for weary people.  How many are glad that Jesus has words for weary people?  I am!  That’s the letter that he writes to the church of Philadelphia.  If you have your Bible, will you open with me to Revelation 3:7.  We’ve walked through five other letters; we have one remaining next week.  The letter to Philadelphia is letter number six.  Here’s how Jesus starts it:  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write….  We’re going to stop there, because as it’s been the case, if you’ve been with us the last few week, you know what Jesus says and the way he addresses each church in his letters is meaningful based on their history, based on their culture, based on their economy.  Jesus cares about it all and all of it matters.

So let me tell you a little bit about Philadelphia.  Philadelphia is roughly 80 miles inland and 26 miles southwest of Sardis.  It didn’t have a port, obviously, so commercial trade wasn’t a huge deal for Philadelphia.  It was the newest of the seven cities that Jesus writes to.  It was planted intentionally by a prominent pilgrim, a ruler, from Pergamum, who moved to this area, planted the city of Philadelphia so that it would be a missionary city.  Their goal was to spread the Greek culture, to spread the Greek way, hellenism, to take over this area and this region. Surrounding it is Mysia, Lydia, and Phyrygia; it did such a great job spreading the Greek way, that Lydia ditched their language and started speaking Greek.  It was considered to be a “Little Athens,” so it had a number of different temples around.   It had paganism that was rampant in this city.  That’s what the followers of Jesus were up against.

The most defining characteristic about Philadelphia though, was that in AD 17, they had lived through, or suffered, one of the worst earthquakes in this region.  It was so bad that the people who were living in the city of Philadelphia moved out of the city and into the countryside.  Listen to what one Roman historian writes:  “The actual town has few inhabitants, for the majority live in the countryside.  One is surprised even at the few, that they are so fond of the place, when they have such insecure dwellings.”  Everything was falling apart to the extent that people said we should camp, we should backpack.  Let’s not live here because we might die.  They moved to the countryside.

Being a follower of Jesus in Philadelphia would have had a different dynamic with it also.  The Jewish population in Philadelphia really felt like if you were a follower of Jesus, that was all fine and good, but first you needed to become a Jew.  They were called Judaizers.  If you were a man, you needed to have a little minor surgery called circumcision.  You needed to go through the ritual cleanings and washings, and you needed to follow Torah, AND you could follow Jesus.  The followers of Christ said listen, we’re all about Jesus, so they were kicked out of the synagogue.

That was the condition that Jesus finds this church in and he starts writing to them.  Listen to what he says:  These are the words of him who is holy and true, {You could read that as genuine, to his core he is who he is.} who holds the key of David.  What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.  I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.    Literally, in the Greek, it’s I know you have no dynamin.  It’s where we get our English word dynamite.  It means power, it means strength, it means you’ve got wind in your sails to continue to live another day and go to work, and love your spouse, and do all the things you need to do.  Jesus is going, “I know.  I know that you are barely hanging on.”

Now, if you were with us last week, you studied with us the letter to the church at Sardis.  It was interesting because, in it, Jesus comes at them with this tone…..wake up, you guys, you’re asleep.  Like, people think you’re alive, but you’re dead.  Strengthen what remains.  He’s like COME ON!  Poking them along.  The letter to Philadelphia is almost so starkly different that we could assume they were placed right next to each other to draw out a contrast.  There’s no condemnation in the letter to Philadelphia.  No. . .Come on, you guys, get with it.  It’s all promises.  It’s all Jesus saying here’s what I’m going to do.  Here’s what I’ve done, here’s who I am.  Weary people, people with little strength, powerless, listen to what I say.  Here’s what he said:  I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.  Those that are against you, I will make them acknowledge that I have loved you.  I will keep you.  I am coming soon.  I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God.  I will write on them the name of my God and I will also write on them my new name.   I will, I will, I will.  I have, I have, I have.  I KNOW.

Here’s my question:  Is the church in Philadelphia perfect?  No.  Here’s how we know that—they’re humans.  They’re human beings.  They’re imperfect.  And yet, there’s no place in this letter that Jesus says, “Come on.  Step it up.  You’re doing this wrong.”  I started to ask myself why not?  He could have said that to them and it would have been true, so why not say it?  I studied this letter more and more, and I studied these seven letters in Revelation,  and you just get the sense as you study them, that Jesus meets people exactly where they are, not where they should be.  Jesus doesn’t just say true things to people, he says true things that are helpful for them.  He says true things that they can receive.  Let me just step back a moment and say, “As followers of Jesus, I think that maybe, from the outside looking in, that people have the perspective of us that we just say things that are true.”  We say it because it’s true, without ever thinking about is it helpful.  We have a word for this. . . . .when we say something that’s both true and helpful, it’s called wisdom.  Anybody can say true things.  It takes wisdom to say something that’s true AND helpful, which is why Jesus comes to weary followers of his way and says I will, I will, I will, I have, I have, I have, I am, I am, I am, not what are you guys doing.  Because he knows that’s not what they need.  Here’s what he says to them:  I have, I have.  I will, I will.  And he makes promise after promise after promise after promise because he wants to point out that when you have little power, you still possess great promise.  When you have little power, you still possess great promises.

I’ve thought about that and the week that we’ve had, and I’ve lamented, even in this service, so God, what does it look like to have little strength but great access to you?  What does it look like to have little power but great promise?  How do we live in this tension of both hope and hurt, of both God you’re up to something, yet there’s a reality that my feet are firmly planted in and I refuse to ignore that the world is broken and not as it should be?  What’s God’s word to the weary?  Is it try a little harder, do a little more?  You’re weary because you’re not trusting enough.  You can hear that some places.  There are times maybe that it’s true, but the majority of the time, it’s that the pain and sorrow of life is just getting real.  So to this church Jesus doesn’t say you’re not doing enough, step it up, get with it.  He goes I will, I have, and I am.  I think David knew this; all the things David went through—on the run, hiding—he still comes back to this place and says this:  My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. (Psalm 119:28)  Like, God, tell me something.  Tell me you’re up to something.  Remind me that you’re in this. God, tell me something that’s true.  Don’t tell me something cliché like, well, everything happens for a reason.  Which isn’t true!  God, tell me something that’s true, like you’re in this with me, like you love me, like you’re good.

It’s the stuff that Jesus shares with this church in Revelation because they’re weary and he’s got a word for the weary.  Let me show you what it is in Revelation 3.  I’m jumping up back to the beginning because we skipped over a portion of this that’s really, really important and here’s what it is:  These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.  What Jesus is doing through the Apostle John is referencing on Old Testament prophetic verse, Isaiah 22:22.  I’d encourage you to write this down and sometime this week to go read it.  It’s in that passage that God (Yahweh) promises his people that a man of integrity would replace a corrupt government.  This person would be in charge of the city, they’d be in charge of the temple, they would be in charge of making sure the court system (justice) was executed.  This idea started to gain steam over centuries and centuries.  People who read Isaiah looked at it and said that it was talking about messiah, when the savior/redeemer comes.  Jesus goes you’ve got it.  I am he.  I have those keys.

Verse 8 –  What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before yo an open door that no one can shut.  Remember, Philadelphia was planted intentionally as a missionary city, to spread the Greek way and Greek culture all throughout the region, and it was successful at that.  But Jesus is saying that what was originally intended to spread Greek culture is going to be used to spread Gospel culture.  That what they planted in order to spread the Greek way and all sorts of polytheistic ideas, and rampant sexuality, and temple prostitution, and all those things. . . . . God is going to redeem that and he’s going to use this strategically planted city as an open door for His redemptive goodness, wholeness, and love for his creation.  Here’s the way we see it in Acts 14:27, this same phrase that’s littered throughout the New Testament:  On arriving there, {This is Paul.} they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.  Here’s what Jesus is saying to this weary church. . . . .there’s a promise, and the promise is that even though they have little strength, they have great access.  They have access to opportunity in the midst of adversity.  Even though they’re short on strength, they are strong in spirit.

Friends, will you lean in for just a moment?  We typically look at our surroundings, we look at our circumstances, we look at our resources, and we decide what God might want to do with our life. So, God, I have this and I have this and I’m here, therefore, boom! you might want to do that.  You do know that that’s not the way God works, right?  He’ll often ask you what you have in your hand and where you are standing, but sometimes when he asks you what you have in your hand it’s so you can throw the stick down and it becomes a snake.  (Exodus 3)  It’s Paul in prison in AD 62, on house arrest and here’s his prayer.  His prayer is one of opportunity in the midst of adversity.  Pray for me, also. . . . .pray for me.  I’m on house arrest in Rome, but will you pray for me?  Will you pray that I get out?  That’s not what he says.  Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Eph. 6:19-20)   Here’s what I think Paul recognizes:  Even though this door is closed, the door that leads to my freedom, there’s a number of doors that are NOT closed.  There’s people coming in every single day.  They’re bringing in my food, they’re caring for my needs, and they are a captive audience.

I think there’s a lot of times in life, you guys, if I can just speak really honestly about my life and what probably happens in yours. . . . . .where we get a few doors shut—–that job didn’t work out, that relationship didn’t work out, the health thing didn’t work out.   We get a few doors shut and our assumption is that every door is shut. What’s fascinating to me is that Jesus does not come to this church and say, “I have opened ALL the doors.”  He doesn’t.  Read it, it’s very specific.  He says, “I have opened door.”  So when all the doors are shut in your face, or you feel like they are, will you just know that there’s at least one that’s open by his grace.  There’s at least one.  We can get so discouraged.  Man, we have a litany of things in our past that didn’t work out the way we wanted them to, right?  It can take the wind out of our sails, or the air out of our proverbial balloon.  Here’s the picture of disappointment—-driving forward but constantly looking in the rearview mirror.  God, I wish you would have, but you didn’t and I don’t know why.  That causes us to miss the fact that man, even though things aren’t exactly the way that I would design them, there’s still an opportunity there.  Even though the marriage is on the rocks, there’s still an opportunity there.  Even though things didn’t work out the way that you wanted them to, in whatever situation you carry in this room, {you’re welcome to carry those things in, please do} there’s an opportunity that’s still there.

Jesus doesn’t just leave it there and say, “Look for the open doors.”  He tells this church HOW they continue to walk through these doors.  Look at what he says right after “you have little strength” —- Yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.   Jesus is saying that this church at Philadelphia recognizes that disappointment is not an excuse for disobedience.  Because God doesn’t come through in the way we think he should, it doesn’t give us the opportunity to say, well, God, I trusted you for this and I thought you were going to do this, and this is how you’re asking me to live, and I don’t wanna live that way anymore, and since YOU didn’t come through on your end of the bargain, I’m not coming through on mine!  Please don’t tell me I’m the only one that’s thrown that childish temper tantrum to God.  If my spouse doesn’t treat me the way I think they should then I’m not going to treat them the way God tells me to treat them.  But don’t we play that game?  God, you didn’t come through, therefore I’m not going to.  Cold war, God.  God’s like no, no, no, no, no.  When you say I’m disappointed therefore I’ll be disobedient, you miss the opportunity that God wants to bring into your life in the midst of the adversity.

Jesus says to this church, man, stay with it, you guys.  I am coming soon.  Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. (Rev. 3:11)   If you’re thinking about tapping out because you’ve lost someone you love, and it’s God’s fault, or you blame God, don’t tap out.  Stay with it.  If you’re thinking about saying, “I’m done with this because progress isn’t being made in the midst of the pain,” stick with it.  YET you’ve kept my word.

Here’s the way Jesus goes on (verses 9-10) — I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, {These are the Judaizers, these are people who have kicked the followers of Christ out of the synagogue, and now they’re exposed to persecution in the Roman empire.  They were under the covering of the Jews before, but they’re no longer there.} who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have love you.  Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.  What’s fascinating is that tribulation did come.  It came hard and it came strong, through the Roman empire, and Philadelphia was one of the churches that continued to stand.  It continued to stand, not just through that persecution that Jesus is referring to, but persecution from the Ottoman empire, persecution from the Crusaders as they came through.  This church was so resilient, and Jesus told them they would be.  Hold on, you guys.  He makes this statement:  I will MAKE people acknowledge that I have loved you.  Jesus is saying that one of the promises that holds us is that we have access to affection in the midst of affliction.

Think about this, the word to the weary, up to this point, is two things.  One, there’s still opportunity, which answers the question when we’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death: God, are you up to anything in this?  He goes, oh yeah.  The second statement Jesus makes, “I will make them acknowledge that I love you,” is the second question we often ask God when we’re walking through the valley.  God, do you love me?  What Jesus wants to reaffirm to this church is oh man, I loved you, and I have loved you, and I will love you, and I will not let you go.  I think there’s this allusion, not so subtle, to Genesis 37.  Joseph has this dream that all of his brothers are going to bow down and worship him.  He has this dream and goes to his brothers the next morning and says, “Hey, guys, good news!  You’re all going to worship me some day.”  They’re like, “Good news, you’re on a train to Egypt!”  They sell him into slavery and there’s all these things that happen in Joseph’s life.  Eventually, there’s a famine in the world that Joseph, because of a dream he gets from God, sees coming, tells the Egyptians to hold and store their food so they have enough to sustain them.  His brothers need food, they come to him, and they bow.   They bow because they see the goodness of God that’s stamped on his life.  They bow because there’s something because of the way he’s followed Yahweh that has created a storehouse from which people draw from.  I think Jesus is painting the same picture — They’re going to see that my fingerprints are all over you.  They’re going to see that I’ve blessed you.  As John says in 1 John 3:1-2, when He is revealed, we will be revealed with Him.  People will go, oh, I didn’t see Paulson like that when he was here.  So there’s this ‘both-and.’  It’s an eschatological picture Jesus is painting, but also a very everyday picture.

He gives them this promise in verse 12 that’s fascinating, in light of their history.   The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.  Never again will they leave it.   What Jesus is doing is making a not-so-subtle, to the first century reader, reference to the fact that when the earthquakes hit, everybody did leave the city.  Because it was insecure.  Because it was falling down around them.  Years and years and years later, the only thing standing in Philadelphia was these two pillars that held the Byzantine church that was there.  That’s awesome!  Jesus is saying that the love that I’ve placed on you, the affection that I’ve covered you with, will sustain you, will hold you, will carry you, will keep you, even when it feels like all the world is crumbling down around you.  So for weary people this morning, can I just tell you He’s for you?  That He loves you.  That He’s good.  He has not let you go.  That the book of Romans 8:38-39 says:  ….neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   NOTHING!!  He’s going, you’re going to stand in that, for all time.

Here’s how he ends it:  The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.  Never again will they leave it.  I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.  If our question is, God, where are you in the midst of this?  He goes, there’s still an open door.  And if our question is, God, do you still love me even when it feels like everything in life is just exhausted and exhausting, and painful and sorrowful?  If our questions then are God, is this ever going to change?  His answer to the first is there’s opportunity.  His answer to the second is there’s affection.  His answer to the third is this promise that in the midst of despair there is a hope in destiny. {Slide: Access to destiny in the midst of despair.}

He says it in two ways.  One, you will have written on you the name of your God.  In the ‘prosperity gospel stream,’ there’s this idea of ‘name it and claim it.’  You see it, you want it, you tell God, it’s done.  What God is saying to you is I have named you and I have claimed you, and you are mine!!  My name is on you to signify it, to make you remember it, for ALL time, that you would be carrying my name.  What’s fascinating is that the city of Philadelphia, before Jesus wrote this letter, had gone through two different name changes.  After an earthquake, they were restored by Tiberius, so they called the city Neoceasarea, the new Ceasar city.  A number of years later, they were restored by Vespasian, so they named the city Flavius, after that.  {Can you imagine the branding nightmares?!  I just got this Flavius tattoo and now we’re back to Philadelphia?  Whatever!}  So when Jesus tells them this, they know what that looks like, they know what that means.  He’s going my name’s never going to change.  My name’s on you.

We all have a choice between two approaches in life.  We can either work at earning a name or we can posture ourselves to receive a name.  But it’s only those two choices.  Sometimes we’re named by our accomplishments, and sometimes we’re named by our failures, and sometimes we’re named by our relationships—-somebody might call you son, or daughter, or dad, or grandpa, or uncle, or aunt.  Most of the time, we’re riding one achievement to the next in order to say this is who I am.  Jesus wants to speak into that fog and say no, no, no, no, your destiny is as MINE, as MY children, as carrying MY name.  But this you know, the prophet Isaiah says, This is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

The second thing he says, because that’s part of our destiny, but it’s not the whole picture, is oh yeah, let’s not forget I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem.  You need to flip over a few chapters in Revelation in order to get a picture of what Jesus is talking about.  This is way too good to just point you to it and tell you to read it at some point if you ever get a chance.  This is a picture of our destiny.  So our question, as we started and entered into lament, is God, where are you in this? and God, what are you doing?  Sometimes the answer to that can be slippery, but here’s how followers of Jesus answer the problem of evil and suffering and pain in our world.  God does not ignore that; God does not stand at a distance, but he enters in.  He entered in to the depth that he took the most vile expression of that evil, and of that violence, and of that heartache, and of that pain, and he took it on the cross and he took it into the grave and into the depths of hell.  He buried sin and he buried death and he buried evil, and he walked out the other side with the hope of glory.

Revelation 21:1-5 — Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look!  God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”  Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”   Here’s what Jesus is saying:  There’s a time limit on your disappointment.  There’s a time limit on your weariness.  Even now, God is working and weaving and making all things new.  There’s a time limit on wondering God, where are you? because the day is coming when resurrection will be a reality, and the new creation that Jesus began when he walked out of the grave, will be complete.  Now we stand with our feet in two worlds—one of reality and one of hope.  One day those will come together.

So what does this mean for us as a church?  It means we’re going to be a harbor for weary people.  If Jesus cares about the weariness of the soul that people carry, we should too.  Isaiah 50:4—-I pray it before I preach, every single week.  God, give me a word for the weary.  If you’re weary, you’re welcome here.  If you don’t have it all together, you don’t have to pretend like you do.  Sometimes the reality is life feels {deflated, limp} and we don’t have to pretend like it doesn’t.  So we’re not going to beat people down with religion — you gotta do this, you gotta do that.  We’re going to introduce people to Jesus.  We believe that when we see Him we’re changed. We’re going to provide opportunity and point it out.  We’re going to affirm God’s affection for people and we’re going to point people to THAT day that Jesus referred to.

You might be asking what do I do with that this week?  How does that impact my week?  What can I do to drive that deeper into my soul?  What if this week, you asked someone how they were doing, and then you really listened to what they told you?  And when they said things are going good, and you had this sense that maybe they weren’t, you pushed a little bit further and said, “Hey, you know what?  If it’s not going okay, I’d love to talk to you about it, and I’m here for you.”  That’s birthed out of the training we had yesterday, People Welcoming People workshop.  If you missed that I’m sorry for you.  We’ll try to do it again.  It was awesome!  But really listen.

What if this week you memorized Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus says this to his followers:  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, {He wants us to learn how to carry the burdens of life.  They’re not going to go away, but you can carry them a little bit different.}  for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

We’re going to close our time with a prayer and a song.  But there’s two words I have on my heart, this year, for us as a body.  One is attentive.  I want us to be attentive to what God is doing in our midst.  The second is responsive.   I’d like you to ask yourself this question:  Is your soul weary?  Are you exhausted?  Schedule’s full but your soul is parched.  You’re entertained, but maybe you’re not enriched.  You’re busy, but you’re not full.  If that’s you and you’re sort of running on empty, will you raise your hand?  So Father, with all these hands raised, I pray that your Spirit would minister.   That you’d strengthen, that you’d raise up, that you’d remind us of the opportunities that are still in front of us in the midst of adversity.  That the affection that’s for us in the midst of affliction, and the destiny that you have purchased, even as we walk through despair.  Would we be people who set our mind and our hope there.  I pray over my friends who are weary today.  By the power of your Spirit, would you strengthen us?  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.