Sermon for Pentecost 3 2017

+In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Because of my vocation, my father likes to send me gifts of an ironical religious nature from time to time, usually gifts that make some sort of joke about reformed theology to push my Anglo-Catholic buttons. Just last week I received this bag of Calvinist coffee beans, which claims to be “the coffee that chooses you” – a riff on the doctrine of predestination. This happens to be the “Total Depravity Blend” – a reference to the first point of classical Calvinism – because, of course, “men prefer the dark roast.” I brought it to the pulpit, not just for show-and-tell, but because it’s whole bean and, in the process of simplifying my life a couple years ago I got rid of my coffee grinder and don’t want a new one- so, I’m going to have a little competition- whoever can name which of Anglicanism’s 39 Articles of religion spells out our historical view of Original Sin and depravity will receive this pound of coffee with my compliments. You can just look in the back of the prayerbook for the answer, preferably after church rather than right now.

Anyway, my dad once gave me a similar gift he had found online which I think was a bit more clever than the coffee. it looked like a driver’s license, but it had Martin Luther’s picture on it, and promised license to “sin boldly.” I think I was in college at the time, so it makes the fact that my dad gave this to me as a gift all the more inscrutable.

In a letter to his partner in the cause of Reformation, Phillip Melancthon, Martin Luther wrote the following:

“If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and sin boldly.”

Do we, then, have a license to sin boldly, knowing that we have freedom in Christ, that we have been and will be forgiven? I don’t think so, but why not? There’s a word that we don’t use too much anymore, sadly, related to license- licentiousness. It’s a word Paul uses on a couple of occasions, and it just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it. It means acting as if one has license (that is- permission) to sin. It may seem odd to us, but whether or not we had such license was really a serious theological problem in the Early Church and beyond. It may be even today. If one’s view of salvation lets one do whatever one wants to do so long as one shows contrition before dropping dead (and a lot of people have this view) then it seems that we do have a license to sin.

In this morning’s Epistle, St. Paul gives us the counterargument:

Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.  For whoever has died is freed from sin.

There’s a lot going on there, so let’s break it down. First, Paul poses the question which the Lutheran license seems to implicitly suggest. If God’s Grace is the greatest gift we have and that Grace is made manifest in the forgiveness of sin (both Original Sin and particular sins) then doesn’t more sinning mean God’s Grace becomes even more manifest? Think of it this way. A sin is like the dollar bill we slide into the celestial vending machine. We punch the button on the machine by praying for forgiveness and out comes a delicious, ice cold Coca-Cola of God’s Grace. Now this isn’t how Grace and forgiveness work, but a lot of us fall into the habit of thinking that it is and apparently the Romans to whom Paul was writing thought so, too.

Paul corrects this misunderstanding by saying that we have died to sin in Baptism and thus ought to live the risen life of righteousness. Paul Calls this death to sin freedom. And here is the big distinction- the distinction between freedom and license. We are free from the grip of sin and from the law, but it does not mean we’ve been given license to do whatever we want. Rather we have the freedom to do what we ought, without a bunch of laws but with our conscience and the direction of the Holy Spirit working in us.

It does get a bit more complicated, though. A chapter later in Romans (in a lesson we’ll hear in a couple of weeks) Paul writes with regard to his own sins:

“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

This seems to contradict what Paul wrote in this morning’s Epistle, but I think it’s more a matter of complexity than contradiction. We are in a very real sense free from sin, but in another sense we are still bound by it. We are baptized people, cleansed from the stain of Original Sin, but we still live in a broken, fallen world and our human nature can easily fall back into the old patterns of pride and envy and wrath and all those other deadly sins. We are free to be wicked just as we are free to be righteous, and the former seems so often to be the path of least resistance.

Here, Luther might have actually been on to something. He didn’t stop his letter to Melancthon with “sin boldly,” but went on thus:

“Sin boldly, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter, are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign.”

I don’t think Luther was encouraging licentiousness, giving permission to sin, but rather was acknowledging that we can’t keep from sinning because we live in a sin-sick world. We can either be crippled by scrupulosity- the debilitating fear of messing up- or we can go through our lives boldly, knowing that we’ll slip up, but also trusting that the love of God in Christ Jesus will save us from ourselves and bring us to that place where righteousness and justice are easier than wickedness and rebellion. We do not do what we want to do, but that doesn’t mean we can either give up trying or lock ourselves up lest temptation find us. We may continue to sin, but we also have the freedom to love, and if we’re afraid to act we’ll miss the opportunity to be vessels of God’s love. So, don’t use your freedom to rage against God’s plan, but know that when you do you also have the freedom to repent, to believe, and to love God and each other with more vigor.

+In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sermon for Pentecost 2 2017

+In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

One of the things I love about being a priest is that my peculiar manner of dress alerts the public to my vocation, leading to some interesting conversations with strangers. Please understand, I’m not saying this ironically. There are differing views among my colleagues, and I don’t fault anybody who for their own sanity decides to get on a flight or go out to dinner without their dog collar announcing their vocation to the world. When it gets humid with temperatures into the 90’s I sometimes make a similar decision (though that has less to do with wanting to go in cognito and more to do with my stubborn refusal to wear clericals that have short sleeves or are in any color other than black). In truth, I relish those conversations with people who are bold enough to engage in religious repartee, particularly as a rebellion against my upbringing, in which I was frequently reminded that such conversations are impolite in public.

Anyway, one of the most peculiar conversations I’ve had along these lines was with a fellow on a bus who asked me, after confirming that I was, indeed, a clergyman what my favorite book of the bible was. This is a surprisingly hard question for me, because the answer is always changing depending on where I am in my own spiritual life and what I’ve been reading, but I think I said something like “either John’s Gospel or the Epistle of James or else Tobit because it’s just such a fun, wacky adventure story.” I quickly learned that the fellow had really asked me because he wanted to share his own answer to the question, which was fine with me, of course. He said something like “my favorite book of the Bible is Romans, because it’s simple enough for a child to understand.”

Now, much can be said of the Epistle to the Romans. It’s a brilliant work of verbal artistry, combining the best of Greek rhetoric and Jewish Midrash (a style of rabbinical biblical interpretation). It’s a magisterial treatise on the nature of Christ and the atonement. It is, I believe, the most important summation of the Gospel message outside the very words our Lord spoke and (over the last half millennium) the most misunderstood book of the New Testament, with the possible exception of John’s Apocalypse. But “simple enough for a child to understand” is not the one I had heard.

So, all that said, the lectionary has appointed passages from the Letter to the Romans to be read as the Epistle for Mass for the next three months, and I intend on doing something I’ve not done in all my eight years of ordained ministry or my half-decade of lay-preaching before that- namely, a sermon series. I want over the course of the summer to really focus in on this important book of the Bible. There will, no doubt, be much worth explicating in the Old Testament and Gospel lessons over the same period. I would encourage those who can to make an effort to attend our Monday evening bible study to cover those topics, as we commit on Sundays to digging in to St. Paul’s magnum opus and gaining an appreciation of what it has to say to us today.

First, let’s get up to speed on both the occasion of Paul’s letter (found in the two concluding chapters of the Epistle which are omitted from the lectionary) and his argument in the four chapters which precede this morning’s Epistle- lessons we missed based on that movable feast of Easter falling a couple of weeks later this year than it could have done.

Unlike Paul’s letters to churches in Greece and Asia, the Epistle to the Romans is not occasioned by a controversy in a church which the Apostle himself had founded. The Christians in Rome no doubt began within the large Jewish expatriate community which both Cicero and Philo tell us was somewhat insular and consisted largely of the descendants of slaves brought to the imperial capitol a century earlier by Pompey. Now by the Christian era, these Jews had been freed and enfranchised, but imagine the communal narrative and corporate sense of identity if your grand-parents and great-grand-parents had been marched into Rome in chains by this foreign, pagan general who, if contemporary sources are to be believed, donned Alexander the Great’s cloak before entering the city. A new oppressor taking on the guise of a previous oppressor, would stick with you well after emancipation- even a couple generations after. And though you would have later been given (according to Tacitus) what amounted to religious freedom in 1st Century Rome, you were still reckoned superstitious by the majority and you lived in tenements in the Trastavere and you stayed well clear of the Senate and the baths and the newly constructed Colliseum.

So, one would assume this community saw non-Jewish Romans as the enemy. Yet, by the time Paul was writing to the Christians in Rome, the parts of this Jewish community who had come to follow Jesus had astonishingly integrated Gentile believers into their number, realizing the most difficult aspect of Paul’s unique mission before he had even written you a letter, much less come to visit. This much is clear from Paul’s letter. How did they get to that point?

It is possible that by the time this letter was written (the mid-50’s A.D.), Peter had made it to Rome, became bishop, and, having already been chastened by Paul regarding the universality of the Gospel, had encouraged this integration himself. I find this unlikely, though, since Paul sends greetings to a few dozen named Roman Christians in his letter but doesn’t include Peter. It would be as if I had written a letter to all the Episcopalians in Cleveland and greeted the Dean of the Cathedral and all the rectors and curates and churchwardens of all the parishes in the city and forgot to greet Bishop Hollingsworth.

I don’t know how precisely these first Roman Christians had managed this difficult task of integration when they established their church in a context in which said task should have been more difficult than any other city in the known world except to blame the Holy Spirit, and perhaps it is precisely because of this seemingly miraculous turn of events that Paul deigns to send his most fulsome account of the nature of the Gospel to the Christians in Rome, whom he has never met but whom he trusts enough to try to establish as his base of operations for a mission to Spain,a a trip which would never take place because of the martyrdom which cut his ministry short.

Now, to the text itself, and where Paul picks up his argument in the fifth chapter of the letter. Paul opens the letter by reiterating his apostolic bona fides, acknowledging Christ’s identity as Son of God and Son of David, and demanding what he calls “the obedience of faith” a concept to which we shall return shortly. He proceeds to posit “the righteousness of God” as the basis of his theological system and that it functions εκ πιστεως εις πιστιν- that is, through or from faith for faith. This he then contrasts with human depravity of all sorts- disobedience to parents, boastfulness, judgmentalness, murder.

There is here an excursus on sexual immorality, the quoting of which has become all the rage in our current culture wars, more, I think, as a function of our own modern obsession with sex than of the importance Paul gives it in the larger argument. I’ve said to some of you that Paul’s denunciation here has more to do with the sexual violence and abuse taking place in Roman bathhouses which his Roman audience would have been all too familiar with than any contemporary controversies that have sometimes well-meaning if usually morally-panicked people clutching their pearls and locking up their wedding cakes. Significantly, there is a particular sin which begets all others in Paul’s analysis- namely, idolatry, which can just as easily, he makes clear just a few verses after the sex talk, take the form of moral superiority and legalistic self-regard as anything prima facie licentious or prurient.

This dialectical relationship between the righteousness of God and the wickedness of humanity is bridged by, wouldn’t you know it, one of the most difficult verses of scripture if you want a clear, literal meaning. God’s righteousness, or justice, is manifested in the most unlikely of ways, justifying humanity “δια πιστεως Ιηδου Χριστου εις παντας και επι παντας τους πιστευοντας.” If you are a Reformed Protestant (or reading a bible translation by and for Reformed Protestants) this string of Greek words might be translated “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” If you’re reading it more literally, it becomes something like “either through faith in Jesus Christ or through the faith of Jesus Christ into all and onto all believers.” So God’s righteousness or God’s justice is affected either by our faith or Jesus’ own faith and that same righteousness or justice is brought about both within us and upon us. Phew!

The precise meaning here is unclear and one of the reasons I want to take us through a thorough review of Romans over the next several weeks I because it takes Paul some time to explicate his own point. It is not, with apologies to my interlocutor on the bus, simple enough for any child to understand.

Paul proceeds to a typological reading of Abraham, in which this great figure is shown to be a prefiguring of the believer in which the former’s faithfulness is revealed as a type of Christian faithfulness. I will over the coming weeks rely on this parallel more explicitly, but (this will give you an idea of where I’m eventually headed with all this) Abraham’s faith did not consist simply of an acknowledgment that the voice commanding him to set off on a dangerous journey was indeed God’s voice, but depended on his actually following the command he was given.

This brings us at last to the fifth chapter of Romans, where it seems to me the whole point of the Gospel Paul means to proclaim becomes clearer. Being justified by faith we have peace with God. But whose faith, Christ’s or ours? Perhaps both, but the faith shown by Jesus himself, dying for us while we were still sinners, surpasses the faith of Abraham, which itself surpasses whatever little faith we manage to show God. The clearer point, it seems to me, is that faith in this context means an awful lot more than simple belief in the same way we believe 1 and 1 makes 2, as I think I’ve said before in this pulpit. What’s more, our justification has yielded peace with God, Paul says, but it has also given us access to grace, or in the Greek, we have been προσαγωγην, or lead to grace, perhaps like being lead to water, but not necessarily made to drink, not necessarily forced to accept that grace. How do we accept it, then. Thank God it’s not all up to us. God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us, but acceptance may require suffering which leads to endurance which produces character which makes us capable of hope which will not disappoint, but it seems like there are a few needful steps for us to get to that point, doesn’t it?

All of this will, I think, become clearer as we delve deeper into the text over the coming weeks, but I think there is one infinitely important point we can draw from this week’s reading and what precedes it and it is a point which conversations regarding the atonement on both ends of the Protestant-Catholic spectrum often fail to acknowledge. We have, for half a Millennium been so concerned about one view or another of what constitutes a salutary faith on the part of the believer (whether it’s mere belief or faithfulness shown through Christian living or some affective shift in the believer’s heart) that we forget too often and at some peril, who the primary actor in all this is- which is precisely the point I’ve been going on about Christ’s own faith in addition to or even as opposed to our own. Only Jesus was faithful enough to make peace with God on our behalf. Only his one, perfect sacrifice – not prone to an iota of self-interest or grandiosity or scrupulosity, unquestionably pure in motive and substance – could have put things right.

It’s my firm belief that whenever the church has gone wrong in one way or another it’s because we’ve lost sight of this. Now some churches may have problems primarily stemming from how their proclamation of this Gospel is hindered by being completely out of step with reality, not to mention the social implications of the Gospel. I’m thinking specifically of the Southern Baptist Convention, which in their annual meeting last week erupted into chaos because it wasn’t initially obvious to everybody there (members of a church who have struggled with the fact that they were founded in order to oppose the abolition of slavery) that in 2017 they probably finally needed to formally denounce white supremacy. I can only speak for the Episcopal Church here, but I think whatever issues we might have had has very little to do with a lack of relevance along those lines. Rather, when we get into trouble as a national church or as dioceses or parishes, regardless of the presenting issue, it’s usually at its heart because we’ve fallen into the trap of a kind of humanist, social Christianity which preaches, as H. Richard Niebuhr put it, “a God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”

I have relatively frequent conversations with colleagues who struggle mightily with the fact that they perceive certain moves in the larger church or positions held by their superiors to be at odds with that single, central claim. They worry the church has lost it’s way because decisions are made or positions are staked out or programs are embarked on for every reason under the sun besides the fact that Jesus is Lord, yesterday, today, and for ever. They lose heart when the overriding narrative is that salvation is something other than a miraculous state of affairs effected by the will of God for eternal communion with humankind or when church leaders can’t seem to affirm clearly and unreservedly that our Lord really died as a sacrifice for our sins and really rose again to promise us everlasting life. These colleagues run the gamut from high church to low church and from politically conservative to politically liberal. Those issues for them are all secondary to the central message of the Gospel which they see receiving either tepid approval or implicit denial. Why these colleagues come to me with these concerns I don’t know, but I’m glad they feel comfortable enough with me to do so.

The Epistle to the Romans, both the passage we heard this morning and the overriding message we’ll hear over the next several weeks, is the necessary antidote to our own self-obsession, our own desire to be the central actors in history. It reminds us that we were in need of saving and our only hope in this regard has come and saved us. How we respond to that reality is an open question, but thanks be to God that the hope we’ve been given in none other than the Lord of Life will not disappoint us.

+In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sermon for Trinity Sunday 2017

+In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

There is a joke about how rectors always try to take vacation on Trinity Sunday, and leave the task of preaching on this very complex theological concept to a curate or supply priest. While saying much about the nature of the Most Holy Trinity is indeed a daunting prospect, it is one I relish. I must confess at the outset that there is a goodly amount of theology in this morning’s sermon. I promise it won’t be too painful, though. In the end, I believe that all of the theology holds an important lesson for us. So, here goes.

At the heart of the mystery of the Trinity is mission. Mission is a technical term, which comes from the Latin mittere meaning “to send”. The Trinitarian mission, then, is God’s sending of Himself. We are reminded once again of this in today’s Gospel reading, when the apostles are sent out to baptize in the name of the Triune God. Salvation was wrought by an act of sending. “God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” The word used in that familiar passage from John is the Greek apostello, send out, from which we get the word apostle.

And just as the Father sent, or “apostled” the Son, so did both the Father and the Son together send the Holy Ghost. As Jesus said, and as the Apostle John recorded, “the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” And again, with regard to his Ascension, Jesus assured the disciples “it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”

We know God by God’s actions, and one of God’s principle activities—as we see upon reflection on the doctrine of the Trinity—is sending, “apostling”. And just as God sent Himself, both as the Son and as the Holy Ghost, so does He send the Body of the Son, the Church, out to do His will. God continues to send each of us into the world to be apostles, heralds of the faith, and we must be sure to heed God’s call. God may be sending some of us into far-flung mission fields. He may be sending some of us into ventures closer to home. In all events, we are an “apostolic” people, a “sent” people. It may be that God’s mission field for some of us is in the home, to be a herald of the Good News to those in our families. Perhaps God is sending others into a mission in our workplaces, or in the places where we conduct our social and leisure activities, or out into the community of Findlay, or, as I said, maybe even to some far-flung mission field. Perhaps the task is simply being a good example of the Christian faith to our neighbours, or perhaps it is engaging in some sort of social ministry, or perhaps it is telling someone we know about how much Jesus and his Church means to us. That last one can sometimes be difficult for us polite Episcopalians, but for many of us, that is God’s call. In any event, just as God sent Himself, so is he sending each of us to do something for the sake of the Kingdom. It is our responsibility to listen and discern, through prayer and bible study and conversation with our fellow Christians, precisely where God means to send us to do the work of the Kingdom.

Now, keep this truth, that God is a “sending” God, in the back of your minds. We shall return to it. First, though, there is another truth we may glean from the doctrine of the Trinity, namely that God is a “loving” God.

Before we delve into this truth and what it means, there is a common, totally understandable, misconception about the nature of the Trinity which needs to be dispelled. We often think of the persons of the Trinity in terms of a sort of division of labor. That is, we assign a job description, as it were, to each person of the Trinity. Specifically, people sometimes talk about the first person of the Trinity, God the Father, as the Creator; the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, as the Redeemer; and the third person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit, as the Sanctifier. This application of job descriptions as alternate names for the persons of the Trinity has become more common in recent decades as a means of avoiding masculine language for God, particularly in blessings.

Now, whatever one thinks of inclusive language, and I can appreciate that impulse, this particular construction is in fact un-Chritian. It is actually a very old mistake, which the Church Fathers called “the heresy of modalism”. The idea that God is triune because God acts in three distinct ways, three “modes”, is not correct. Long-story short, its logical conclusion is that there are three gods acting independently of one another, rather than one God in three persons. You see how this quickly leads us away from the Christian understanding.

On the contrary, since very early times the Church has taught that each action which God performs is an action of the whole of God. That is, each person of the Trinity is involved in any work of God. Think back to the first chapter of Genesis, for example. Certainly, God the Father was involved in creating the world, but we also remember that God breathed over the deep in His act of creation. The breath of God, or ruach elohim, in the Hebrew is the Holy Spirit. Likewise, we learn in the first chapter of Genesis that God created by means of the “Word”, and in John’s Gospel, we learn that that “Word” or “Logos” was none other than the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, who became flesh in Jesus Christ our Lord. So, the whole of God—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—was active in the creation of the heavens and the earth.

Likewise, the whole of God is active in salvation. It is in the name of the Trinity that Christ demands we be baptized. In the passage in John’s Gospel, which used to be appointed for Trinity Sunday before the adoption of the Revised Common Lectionary (which I think was mostly a mistake, but I’m a curmudgeon about that sort of thing), Jesus tells Nicodemus that one must be “born of the Spirit” and that this is made possible because the Father sent the Son. We are not only saved through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, but through the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost. In short, the whole Godhead, the Trinity, saves us.

To go even a bit further, not only can we not assign job descriptions to the persons of the Trinity, but the job descriptions themselves—“creator”, “redeemer”, and “sanctifier”—unnecessarily divides the work of God into discrete actions. But, in being redeemed, we become a new creation, the apostle tells us. In the redemption brought about by baptism, we are simultaneously sanctified. One could go on, but the upshot is that God actually, ultimately does one thing. He loves us. Creation, and redemption, and sanctification and everything else we attribute to the hand of the most glorious Trinity is an expression of God’s love. “For God so loved the world…”

And this is ultimately the meaning of the Trinity. The Trinity is not about some real or perceived division of labour. The Trinity is about the nature of love. For love to be love there needs to be an Other. Thus, for us to make any sense of the assertion that God is love, God cannot be singular. As St. Augustine put it, “the Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and the Holy Ghost is the love they share.” Even more compelling than Augustine’s explanation to my mind is that of the Eastern Church Fathers, people like St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Basil. They said that the mystery of the Trinity can be captured in a word called “perichoresis”. I promise there won’t be a vocabulary test this morning, but try to remember that word: perichoresis. While it’s ultimately untranslatable, the word suggests a dance of mutual love in which three people engage and in which the distinctions between those members ceases to be apparent. The three are one because of this “dance of love”. Perhaps we have felt hints of the blurring of personal distinction. Mutual love between spouses or between parents and children can have this quality. Of course, sin means that our love cannot be made perfect in this life, so all we experience are hints. “Sin has broken us apart” and so we cannot fully love.

And yet we may come to love when we abide in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Listen carefully to these words of the apostle John from his first epistle:

No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world.

The Holy Trinity is defined by the mutual love its members—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—have for one another. But, the Trinity is not an exclusive, mutual-admiration club. The Father’s sending of the Son and their mutual spiration, or sending of the Holy Ghost to us means that we have been invited into the love of God, invited to abide in the love that the persons of the Trinity have for each other. We have been let into the dance of the perichoresis. We have been given the chance to abide in that love. That is ultimately why we are “sent out” by God. Because God sent himself into the world, and we have been brought in to the loving life of the Trinity, so we too—children of the Father, members of Christ’s body, full of the Spirit—may be Christ sent out into the world and may invite others into the dance.

+In the name of the one eternal and indivisible God : Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.