by Al Maxey

Issue #406 ------- August 3, 2009
The 11 o'clock hour on Sunday is the
most segregated hour in American life.

Bishop James A. Pike {1913-1969}

The Universal One Body
Reflecting on the One True Church

St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.), in his classic discussion On Baptism, made the following bold declaration: "There is no salvation outside the Church." Whether an individual agrees or disagrees with this assertion will largely depend upon his perception of the nature and identity of the "church." Many disciples have equated the church established by Jesus Christ [Matt. 16:18] with their own particular religious group or movement, each replete with its own unique history, creeds and set of cherished traditions. Almost every group within Christendom feels that it, and it alone, is the full embodiment of the "one true church" on planet earth.

The Roman Catholic Church, by way of a singular example, has long maintained that in order to be saved one absolutely must (no exceptions) be within the sacred parameters of their fellowship. "There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all is saved" [Pope Innocent III, 4th Lateran Council, 1215 A.D.]. Notice another papal pontification: "We declare, say, define and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff" [Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302 A.D.]. Consider one more -- "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and within the unity of the Catholic Church" [Pope Eugene IV, Bull Cantate Domino, 1441 A.D.].

Such radical exclusivism, however, is not confined to the Catholic Church alone. This kind of arrogance abounds throughout the religious world. Indeed, it's a part of the "dark side" of human nature. We have arrived, all others are not even close; We have all the answers, We perceive Truth perfectly, We practice the patterns precisely, all others are godless apostates and digressives. The "Churches of Christ" have gained a reputation over the years of believing (and even preaching) that We are the only ones who are going to heaven!! Yet, I have had some Baptists recently declare the very same thing to me about their group! Again, no one group has a monopoly on ignorance and arrogance. There is plenty to go around.

The reality is (and most within the parameters of Christendom would agree with this truth) there indeed is only one true church of our Lord Jesus. When Paul said, "There is one body" [Eph. 4:4], he meant it. Yes, there are many members of that universal One Body, and each of us differ from one another in many ways (some are feet, some hands, some ears, some eyes, etc.), but we are nevertheless one in Him. It is HE who binds us together as a cohesive whole. "We who are many are one body, for all of us share that one bread" [1 Cor. 10:17]. That "bread" is Jesus. "For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world" [John 6:33]. "I am the bread of life" [vs. 35, 41, 48]. It's not uniformity of conviction on a host of "weighty issues" that binds us together as one, for Paul has declared in Romans 14 that we may differ dramatically on any number of personal practices and perceptions and still be brethren in the Family of God. Rather, the Spirit unites us in Him, binding us together in love. ALL of those, whoever they are and wherever they may be found on earth, who are united with the Lord Jesus (who are in Him) make up the One Body (church). Thus, there is clearly only one church of our Lord. If you are in Him, then you are in it. I would strongly urge the reader to take just a moment to examine Reflections #9 and #9a, both of which are extremely important to a much fuller understanding of what I will be stating in this present issue of Reflections.

The problem we face is not with the above perception of the One Body universal (the "one true church"); the problem we face is that too many firmly believe (and pridefully promote) the position that they, and they alone, ARE exclusively that One Body universal. Yes, they will affirm, there IS only One Body ... and it's US! Thus, they equate their group or movement or faith-heritage, or some sub-sect or faction thereof, with that One Body. The result, and it is evident all around us, is a world filled with feuding factionists and squabbling sectarians, each claiming to BE the One True Church to the exclusion of everyone else on the face of the earth. When the Lord returns, He will return for them ... and then incinerate everyone else!! And deservedly, they might add, for these others were "not of us!!" I can't help but recall what John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw a man driving out demons in Your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us" [Mark 9:38, NIV; cf. Luke 9:49]. This sounds remarkably like some of US, doesn't it?! Maybe WE need to receive the same loving rebuke John received! Just because they are not "one of us," does NOT mean they are not one of HIS!! Oh, how we need to grasp this truth today!!

Being a part of the universal One Body of Jesus Christ is not conditioned upon being in uniformity with MY personal perceptions, preferences and practices; it is conditioned upon being in unity with HIM. You and I may have vastly differing worship traditions, for example, but that in itself has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not one or both of us are in or out of the Body. If you're in relationship with the Father through the Son, and I am in relationship with the Father through the Son, then we are spiritual siblings! You do not have to be my twin in order to be my brother! "God has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord" [1 Cor. 1:9]. You + Me = Our ... and the common denominator is not us, it is Him. Fellowship (a partnership of those who hold something in common) is in the Son, not in any of our perceptions about Him or our expressions of devotion to Him. Yes, I may be in association with, and indeed assemble with, other disciples who share similar spiritual perspectives and engage in similar worship practices, but these associations should never, ever be equated with the fullness of fellowship with the Father through the Son!! My association is with that wing of the Stone-Campbell Movement known as the "Church of Christ." My ancestors, as well as my wife's ancestors, were associated with this group. Thus, Shelly and I have chosen to remain with them because this is our faith-heritage. We do NOT confuse this association with our inclusion in the universal One Body of Jesus Christ, however. We are a part of the One True Church as a result of being in Him; we are a part of the group known as the "Church of Christ" as a result of a decision to associate with them as we labor for the Lord during our spiritual journey.

During my own personal journey through life I have made the commitment to serve my Lord in two primary areas: (1) to help those outside of Christ Jesus to come to know the joys of a relationship with the Father through the Son, and (2) to help those in a relationship with the Father through the Son to come to know the joys of a loving relationship with their fellow spiritual siblings. In seeking to accomplish the latter, countless barriers must be brought tumbling down; walls of exclusion must be systematically dismantled that have separated us far too long. It is for this work that I firmly believe my Lord has called and equipped me, and it is for this that I shall primarily labor each day until such time as He calls me to that blessed rest.

With this said, let me spend the remainder of this article expressing a few concerns about the most recent issue of the publication known as The Spiritual Sword [July, 2009]. The theme of this particular issue is: "A Handy Guide To Denominationalism." It doesn't take one long to discern that the editor and writers perceive "denominationalists" to be anybody and everybody but themselves. They are all in the "Church of Christ" group, which, of course, IS (exclusively) the One True Church universal on planet Earth (or, so they persist in believing). I have confronted thematic issues of this radically conservative, legalistic, patternistic publication before, as they consistently seek to promote the traditional tenets of Church of Christism, as though these all were in some way salvific, over the simple truth of salvation by grace through faith resulting in union with Him. For example, check out Reflections #269 -- Shouting Above the Silence: Reflective Review & Rebuttal of The Spiritual Sword's Stand on Silence.

In the Editorial of the July, 2009 issue of The Spiritual Sword, the editor, Alan E. Highers, states the rationale behind this present issue -- it is to help those who "study the Bible with some denominational member" to have a much better understanding of the religious background of those with whom they study. In principle, I agree with this. If you're going to seek to share God's Word with someone, it always helps to have some awareness, and even appreciation, of where that person is coming from both culturally and theologically. This is an error missionaries sometimes make as they seek to "convert the heathen." I thought it was interesting that Alan Highers observed, "It will be very helpful to read a discussion of the history, origin, founding, and teachings of that particular movement before sitting down to a study with an individual who has been indoctrinated in that tradition. ... We believe it will be interesting to know the history and background of a movement as well as its distinctive teachings. Keep in mind, too, that many denominational members are not aware of their own history." Frankly, the same can be said of far too many within that wing of the Stone-Campbell Movement denominated "Church of Christ." The clear assumption of Alan Highers is that everyone else claiming to be a Christian is just part of a movement or denomination with its own unique history, teachings and traditions, but ... WE are not. Again, what arrogance. This is a blindness of staggering proportions.

Highers continues, "Some people are so accustomed to thinking in denominational terms that it has never occurred to them that one can obey the gospel, become a Christian, be added to the Body of Christ, be a member of the New Testament Church, yet never join any denomination, subscribe to any human creed, or wear any sectarian name." One of the things you will quickly notice when reading the writings of such people is that they will tend to focus primarily upon the "church" and its various identifying marks. Where in any of this is an emphasis upon union with Jesus Christ, the indwelling and empowering of the Holy Spirit, the matchless grace and mercy of God the Father in His daily interaction with His children? If our focus was more on HIM, and the relationship He has with His children through Jesus, we would come to realize that we have far more brethren around us than we will ever perceive when our focus is on delineating the countless differences between groups of spiritual siblings. Our focus is amiss, and the result is an increasing number of factions within the Family. In essence, we have become what might best be classed a fratricidal fellowship.

Highers observed, "The plea of churches of Christ, in fact, is for us to speak where the Bible speaks and to remain silent where the Bible is silent, to do Bible things in Bible ways, and to call Bible things by Bible names." Dear brethren, I have heard these trite clichés for most of my life, but I have yet to witness these tenets ever actually being applied. The stark reality is -- when the Bible is silent, that is when our legalists go to work assuming, deducing and inferring LAW. Frankly, if we ever literally did things exactly like they did them within the first century church (and which congregation are we going to "pattern" ourselves after?), these legalistic patternists would be the first to flee from the church building (which edifices they didn't even have back then). It never ceases to amaze me that otherwise intelligent men and women can buy into such a delusion. It just goes to show the power of the forces of darkness to deceive us when we take our eyes off HIM and shift our focus to US. The latter will invariably lead to an US - THEM separation, with US being the only ones right, the only ones who have it all figured out, the only ones saved. God help us!!

Beginning on page 43 of this issue of The Spiritual Sword, after a good many articles showing how flawed all the denominations are, Hugh Fulford, a man whom I greatly respect, and with whom I have had a good many email exchanges on this same topic over the years, including several in just the past few weeks, wrote an article titled, "Can We Be Undenominational?" Hugh, by the way, has been a gospel preacher for over 50 years, was a staff writer for Gospel Advocate under the editorship of B. C. Goodpasture, and now preaches in Tennessee. I certainly value this man and his devotion to the Lord. He and I differ, however, on our view of the nature of the church. In principle, Hugh and I are very much in agreement, and I would agree with the vast majority of what he wrote in his article. The problem, however, is that Hugh Fulford, like most of those who are of an ultra-conservative persuasion within our fellowship, has equated the group known as "Churches of Christ" with the universal One Body of Jesus Christ. Everyone else is a denominationalist; We are the one true church, and thus are UNdenominational. I have tried and tried to get Hugh to perceive this error, but to no avail. Thus, he continues to proclaim a noble truth in principle, while in actuality practicing just the opposite; sadly blinded to the dichotomy that is apparent to most disciples around him.

In his article, Hugh asks these very pointed questions: "Why do members of the church of Christ say that they do not constitute a denomination? Are we deceived in this matter? Are we denying reality? Is it really possible to be undenominational Christians?" Here one has to attempt to pin Hugh Fulford down on what exactly he means by the phrase "church of Christ" in that first sentence. If he means the universal One Body of Christ on earth, which is made up of ALL those individuals who are in relationship with the Father through the Son, then I would agree that THIS group does NOT constitute a "denomination" (as that term is typically understood). What Hugh would likely say is (and I base this upon my exchanges with him): Yes, he does indeed mean the universal One Body of Christ. However, Hugh Fulford would then equate that with the group known today as "Churches of Christ." Thus, if the former does not constitute a denomination, then neither does the latter, for, in his view, they are one and the same. Although there are some hardliners who still maintain this position, I think you will find that an ever increasing number within the Churches of Christ are finally coming to realize that although many within their fellowship truly are a part of the One Body universal, they, as a group, do NOT constitute that One Body universal in its entirety upon the face of this planet. Our Father has beloved children throughout this world, and these many children do NOT all assemble in buildings denominated "Church of Christ," nor do they all practice the same traditions or even share the same convictions on a host of matters. Nor do they have to! All that is truly essential is that they be IN HIM, and if that is true, then they are our brethren ... whether we choose to accept that fact or not.

The great reality is, and Hugh cannot seem to grasp this fact -- we can truly be "undenominational" in our walk with the Lord and yet still have different associations with various dear brethren who share our particular preferences for worship style, as well as sharing specific personal convictions (for example, on such matters as Bible classes, number of cups, versions, eating in the building, how to use the money in the treasury, etc.). It is perfectly acceptable for us to differ (there IS unity in diversity); it is NOT acceptable for us to sever fellowship over these differences. We can still be brethren, still all be members of that One Body universal, and yet assemble in groups where our individual needs are best met, and where we have the best opportunities to express our devotion to the Lord. For me personally, at this time in my journey, that is by being in association with the group denominated "Churches of Christ." I have been part of this faith-heritage all my life, and I know its teachings and traditions well, and many within this group know me (or know of me). This gives me a rather unique opportunity to perhaps have a positive impact on helping those within this movement to better grasp the beauties of family over faction, Truth over tradition, and relationship over religion. Progress in this direction is daily being made, and I intend to remain with this group, although I will never, ever restrict my fellowship to this little group alone. God's Family is much greater, much vaster, than any one small part of the whole (who may mistakenly view themselves AS the whole). My determination has been, and it shall continue to be, to keep on working with them to help them get beyond this devilish delusion. Hugh concluded his article by saying, "We once had a clear vision of undenominational Christianity. We need to recapture that vision!" Amen, brother! May we work together to achieve that noble goal.

Down, But Not Out
A Study of Divorce and Remarriage
in Light of God's Healing Grace

A 200 page book by Al Maxey
Publisher: (301) 695-1707

Readers' Reflections

From a Minister in Alaska:

Dear Brother Al, Thank you for this very thoughtful Reflections. I share your sentiments exactly concerning the phrase "In Jesus' Name." It is not a magic formula, and it is certainly not "required" at the end of a prayer for our words to "make it to heaven." When I was serving as a military chaplain, however, there were times when I deemed it necessary for me to pray specifically in Jesus' name in order to let people know what faith I belonged to (due to the awkward situation of being part of a program that included leaders of other world religions). When challenged in this way, I would conclude my prayers, as a Rabbi chaplain advised me to do, by saying, "In Jesus' name I pray," rather than, "In Jesus' name we pray" (in order to make sure that I did not include others who were not Christians and who might take offense at such inclusion). This didn't happen very often -- in most public ceremonies I would be the only one praying, and the audience knew I was a Christian Chaplain. However, in those few special situations, I decided I could not leave out the name of Jesus and simply let the people think I was praying to the same god, or in the same way, as Buddhists, Native American Spiritualists, Moslems, and others. May God bless you, brother!

From a Reader in Barbados:

Brother Al, WOW!! I say "wow" because only last Sunday night in our Bible study this very matter was raised. A brother required that we seriously consider what the term "in the name of Jesus" means. Some appear to believe it is the recipe to get our heavenly Father to bow to our whims rather than accomplish His will. I am in total agreement with your stance on this matter, Al, for I believe it has clear and distinct biblical support. Prayer is a "heart" issue, rather than "words matter" ritual. The context of Romans 8 bears this out, particularly vs. 26-27. In the prayers of some of my brethren, they command God to do their bidding, feeling that what they ask must be done because they used the phrase "in Jesus' name." I am inclined to believe that most of these brethren, if not all of them, are sincere in their faith, and I just hope that such biblical admonition as you have given in this Reflections will help in correcting their misunderstandings. Thank You for yet another very timely and appropriate discourse.

From a Reader in Zambia, Africa:

Bro. Al, First and foremost, my humble greetings to you and your family. The moment one realizes that Jesus Christ was God Himself who descended from heaven to earth in human flesh, the more one will be encouraged to mention this name in every prayer. Remember: it is only through Jesus Christ that our prayers can reach the heavenly Father. "No one comes to the Father except through Me" [John 14:9]. Thus, why would we ever omit saying "in Jesus' name" when ending or starting our prayers? Someone said, "But I'm afraid that too many are using it like some kind of magic charm." Doesn't that person know that the Bible says there is power, healing, salvation and deliverance in that name? This is why I strongly feel that we should never omit this wonderful name (Jesus) in our prayers.

From a Missionary in Tanzania, Africa:

Dear Brother Al, Along a similar line to praying in Jesus' name, a few years back we had a young man who always prayed directly to Jesus in his prayers. Several people approached me and wondered if that was "Scriptural." Any thoughts?

From a Reader in Georgia:

Bro. Al, Thank you very much for your recent Reflections "In Jesus' Name, Amen." As a side note, some years ago, while doing the talk before the Lord's Supper, I prayed for the bread and the fruit of the vine to JESUS, not to the FATHER. I was cornered by one of the ladies afterward who said that she was uncomfortable with me praying to Jesus. Trying not to offend my brethren, I did not pray to Jesus in public again, but in my private prayers will often pray to Jesus. Are we NOT allowed to pray to Jesus? I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this.

From a Minister in Tennessee:

Brother Al, I just finished reading "In Jesus' Name, Amen." Your thoughts served as a much needed reminder for me to discern God's will in all things, and then to pray for those specific things. Here is another thought I would like to hear you expound upon, if you would be so kind: Why is it that all our prayers (at least in my experience) follow the preset formula of -- to God the Father through Jesus Christ? What about praying to God the Son?! Other than the obvious opposition from some of our more dogmatic brethren, is it acceptable to pray to Jesus?

From a Reader in Tennessee:

Ameeen, Brother Al, to your article on praying in Jesus' name. I thank you for your simple writing style that is void of "big words," but that is so powerful with "big thoughts." May God continue to bless you in your work, brother!

From a Physician/Elder in Texas:

Brother Al, I just finished reading your latest issue of Reflections regarding the use of the phrase "in Jesus' name" at the end of prayer. I completely agree with your conclusions regarding this appropriate and wonderful tradition. It would be good for us all to remind ourselves frequently that our traditions are just that: traditions. I also appreciated your comment on prayer and the importance of seeking God's will, not just asking for God to bless my will. This brought to my mind the incident recounted in Acts 19:13-16, where some Jewish men were using the name of Jesus like some magic talisman to assist them in casting out demons. They didn't have a relationship with Jesus, however, and just using the words without meaning did not work out too well for the seven sons of Sceva! Thanks again, Al, for the time you spend in researching and writing these Reflections articles. You are indeed a blessing to many within the Body of Christ, working as you do ... in Jesus' name!

From a Reader in Tennessee:

Brother Maxey, Thank you for your informative notes on "In Jesus' Name." We all have traditions we observe due to our own heritage or religious persuasion, and the acceptability of any prayer is not based on tradition, but rather upon offering that prayer in a spirit that is in harmony with the will of God. As for some individual ending the verbal offering of a congregational prayer without stating "in Jesus' name," I don't think this should ever be a matter of concern to people!

From a Minister in Missouri:

Brother Al, Several years ago I heard a great sermon that reminded me that praying in the name of Jesus is something you DO, not something you SAY. Since then, I have excluded the "magical incantation" from many of my personal prayers. In doing so, I have actually found myself praying more intentionally in Christ's name!

From an Elder in Florida:

Bro. Al, I just read your Reflections article in response to the question from your former deacon. Would it be in the spirit of Matthew 7:22 to add to Jesus' words there -- "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Thy name, and in Thy name cast out demons and do many miracles, and did we not always pray in Thy name?'" Of course, I would never want to add to our Lord's words, but I suspect He would respond in the same way to those who trusted in the words of this formula, instead of trusting in the worth of the Savior, as He did to those who, on the day of judgment, will say what is actually written in vs. 22.

From a Reader in Oklahoma:

You are so correct, Brother Al. Some of the old ladies in our congregation would have a heart attack if anyone ever left those "magic words" off of the prayer!!

From a Reader in Arizona:

Dear Bro. Al, I just read your latest Reflections on praying in Jesus' name (i.e., using the phrase as an ending for all prayers). Several years ago I was approached by a dear couple who were having the same problem as your reader -- they had heard someone pray and not end the prayer "correctly." They were very sincere in their concern, and were shaken up that this would happen, especially in a large gathering. I read Col. 3:17 to them ("and whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him"), after which I asked them if they thought that every time they did something they then had to say, "In Jesus' name I am doing this." Of course, they didn't think so. Thus, this helped them, and they were able to cut the person praying some slack. I love your articles, Al, and I pray that you will always keep them coming!! May God bless you greatly!

From a Reader in Arizona:

Brother Al, This was a good Reflections about how ingrained our traditions can become!! I found it personally jarring the first time I heard someone consistently omit those words from the end of her prayers. Even though I knew that tacking them on to the end of the prayer was simply tradition, the omission of them still was jarring to my conscience. Personally, I'm trying to get out of the "habit" by intentionally omitting them from my own private prayers.

From a Reader in California:

Dear Brother Maxey, Thank you for your most recent Reflections on prayer. It's funny -- this morning during worship the person praying for the Lord's Supper did not say "in Jesus' name," but only said "Amen" at the end of the prayers. And, of course, I noticed it. I thought to myself, "Well, Jesus said, 'Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am.'" So, I came to the conclusion that whether or not we speak these "magical words," they are implied simply by virtue of us meeting together in His name. And then I got home and read your brilliant article!! How uncanny!! Anyway, the main purpose of this email is to challenge you -- I think you should seriously consider going to your publisher and compiling all your Reflections into book form according to subject. You could do a "Nature of Man and Final Punishment" book, one on baptism, one on the history of the church, and the list goes on --- thousands of pages of spiritual gems! Please think about this, as I think it would be a wonderful thing!!

From an Elder in Missouri:

Brother Al, The use of Jesus' name as some kind of magical "open sesame" phrase has bothered me for some time. I think traditions have caused much harm in the church (although I agree with you that not all traditions are evil, but only when we use tradition in such a way that it becomes law -- cf. Matthew 15). I have spoken to this subject many times, and the conclusion I have drawn is much like your own. The crucial thing is what is in our heart; our intent. I have often thought there was humor in the account of the sons of Sceva in Acts 19, but I also believe it may have some application to this topic. These men used the name of Jesus, but they were not acting with His authority or within His will. Can it really be any different for us if we make use of the phrase "in Jesus' name" and our lives aren't lived in tune with His will? By the way, Al, I love following you on Facebook and seeing all the many pictures of you and your family and where you have lived. I especially loved the photo of the Cavasos family. My wife and I came to love them during the short time we spent with them in New Mexico years ago. It was good to see them in that picture (although everyone in the photo was so young looking!).

From a Reader in Texas:

Brother Al, Shame on you!! It seems that every time I read your articles, I wind up chasing a rabbit you've placed there (a link) that leads me to some other study of yours. This time it was the link to The Maxey-Thrasher Debate on the nature of man and the eternal destiny of the wicked. I must tell you, I was kinda leaning toward Thrasher's side until I got to the post on Hades. Now you are convincing me!! In fact, I hate to put it down, but it's already tomorrow and I have to fly in the morning! Sigh!! But, I will finish it (Lord willing) tomorrow night. To say the least -- it is very interesting!! I think I am learning. I will write to you again when I finish it. Thanks!

From an Elder in Kentucky:

Dear Bro. Maxey, I have been rereading your many Reflections articles that you've listed in your Topical Index on the nature of man, and the nature of death, and the so-called "immortal soul" of man. Your conclusions, which are based on Scripture, make much more sense to me than the "traditional" interpretation (which was expressed by Thomas Thrasher in your debate with him). Love and hugs to you, brother!

From a Reader in New Mexico:

Brother Al, First, a belated congratulations to both you and Shelly on 36 years together. May you have many more years of marriage to celebrate. As usual, your latest Reflections was excellent!! It is so true that more disagreements in the Lord's Body have to do with traditions than Truth. I have witnessed people reduced to tears just because the song leader ended the service with an upbeat hymn rather than a "closing prayer." In fact, I remember when I used to think that only those people who ended a prayer with "in Jesus' name" were those who truly loved Jesus! That said, I think ending a prayer "in Jesus' name" is still a good tradition (if it is done sincerely), especially since so many of our freedoms are now being taken away from us, and since saying anything about Jesus or God is no longer considered "politically correct." We recently attended a retirement ceremony out at Holloman Air Force Base, and the Chaplain apparently had to issue a public disclaimer that since this was not a "command event," he would be praying in the name of Jesus. Brother Al, God has given you an amazing gift, along with a great deal of patience! May He continue to bless you!

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