Skip Heitzig - The Motherhood of God
What? Am I supposed to be Darth Vader now? I don't want to be Darth Vader. I want to be Yoda. Preach to you, I will. Teach? OK, I've always wanted to do this. So speaking, has nothing to do with this movie. But it has to do with another movie. Que, I am the great, powerful Oz.Thank you. It was 1939 when that movie came out. Would you turn in your Bibles please, to the book of Isaiah, Isaiah chapter 66? It's the biggest profit in the Old Testament, that is, the largest number of chapters, 66 chapters. And we're in the final chapter this morning.
I want to say happy Mother's Day to you, moms. And you know I had a thought coming out of how utterly proud I am, in a good way, proud, of the moms of this church. Because they have raised so many of the people that are leading worship, so many of the people that are serving here as leaders at this church, were raised in this church by parents and devoted moms who gave the very best to their children. And the proof is in the lives lived. So thank you, mothers, who have devoted so much to them.
There are many things that Americans hold sacred, regardless of their background, their culture, their race, their creed. And among them are apple pie and mom. Those are sacred. Now, apple pie doesn't have a special day to celebrate. But moms, do and it's always the second Sunday in May. Now THE purpose of our gathering today is, of course, first and foremost to worship and honor God. That's why we gather. We gather for him. We gather because we love him. We gather that we might ascribe to him everything that is due to him.
Second, we gather to encourage one another. There's a mutual fellowship and edification that happens when we are committed to be together. And number three, on this day, we come to honor moms. And it's fitting to do so. I suppose that there is no more single influential voice in the world then a mother's. Now, I understand that it's Mother's Day. And for some, that's not a good day. Some ladies don't look forward to Mother's Day. I understand, there can be pain for some, pain because they have been unable to conceive children so far, pain because they're estranged from their son or daughter, pain because perhaps they even lost a son or daughter. I understand how painful Mother's Day can be.
But at the same time, I think even those mothers would say it is appropriate to give special honor to those moms among us, and for their sacrifice, and for their love. Motherhood is the oldest occupation in the world. There wouldn't be a world as we know it without moms. It's been even said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Of course, we know God rules the world. But he has used mothers to effect that.
I heard about a five-year-old boy who wanted to make his mom's life easier. They lived way out in the country, in a kind of a primitive environment. And he really appreciated how his mom sacrificed for him. And he said one day to his mom, mommy, I love you. And when I grow up, I'm going to get you an electric iron, an electric stove, an electric toaster, and an electric chair. Of course, he didn't know what he was saying when he said that. But his mother sure did.
My mom was a tough little gal. I'm going to show you a picture of my mom. There's a picture of my family. I had not even seen this picture for years, till recently. But on top is my dad, and then my mom is on the top right. My grandparents on my mom's side, that's my mom. She was about 5 foot even. A slight little gal. The four boys, us four boys, are on the bottom. That's me on the left with his mouth open. Yeah, that's me. You see the resemblance? That little gal, my mom, could handle those four boys, even as we grew up, single-handedly. She was tenacious. She was very tender, but tenacious.
Mother's Day has been celebrated all over the world for generations. In fact, we can even go back to ancient Greece, when there was a mother's celebration, though it is tied to paganism primarily. Back in the 1600s, in England, on the fourth Sunday of lent, they had a day they called Mothering Sunday. And typically, it was fashionable for children, on Mothering Sunday, to go out and pick flowers and give those flowers to their moms.
I even discovered that in former Yugoslavia, children would tie up their moms on Mother's Day. And the only way that mom could get free is to pay her children with treats, with candies. I read that. And I thought, no wonder there have been problems in the Balkan states, all these years. Now, our celebration in the United States comes all the way back to 1908. In 1908, one woman in Grafton, West Virginia, by the name of Anna Jarvis, decided to celebrate her own mother's Memorial publicly, and it caught on. People started wanting to celebrate their moms, so that in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed that into law, that on the second Sunday of May, mothers would be commemorated and celebrated.
Interesting fact about that, though Anna Jarvis started Mother's Day, later on, she tried to stop Mother's Day. You want to know why? I knew you did. It's because she discovered that it was becoming too commercialized, that people, that businesses, that companies wanted to use the day to make a profit. Politicians wanted to use the day to get votes. And she saw that as sort of intuitive to what she wanted to do to honor moms. So she tried to cancel the day she developed. Of course, that didn't work, and we're glad that it didn't. We're glad that we can celebrate even today.
Did you know that Mother's Day is the third most popular holiday in America? After Christmas, and after Easter, it is Mother's Day. It is estimated that $14 billion is spent on Mother's Day in our country annually. There are more phone calls on Mother's Day than any day of the year. 122 billion phone calls were placed in a single day, more than any other day of the year. In fact back to, the platform, and upstairs, early this morning, I had staff members saying, I've got to call my mom. I've got to call my mom. This is the day. It's the busiest day of the year for restaurants. That's in a typical year. That's in a non-COVID year. It's estimated that 62%. of Americans dine out today, on Mother's Day.
And this may not surprise you. About 1/4 of all the flowers purchased throughout the year are purchased for Mother's Day. 25% of all the flowers sold this year are sold on Mother's Day. Well, I've had to turn to Isaiah chapter 66. And it's a message I'm calling the motherhood of God. And before you look at me weird with a wince, thinking that I'm getting liberal or heretical, understand that this is a metaphor that God himself chose to ascribe to himself, where in this chapter he compares his personality to that of a mother.
Just a little heads up on this section of Isaiah. Most commentators believe that Isaiah 65 and Isaiah 66 are predictive of what is called the Kingdom age, the millennial reign of Christ on the Earth the 1,000 year reign of Jesus on the Earth, and that as he makes promises to the nation of Israel in that restoration period, he, in the middle of that, ascribes this personality of a mother to himself. We're going to begin right around verse 6. But the primary verse is verse 13. We're going to read those verses. I want to show you three distinct aspects of God's promise to his people. And the first is that God compares his personality to a mother. Let's begin back at verse 6.
The sound of noise from the city, the city here is the city of Jerusalem, a voice from the temple, the voice of the Lord, who fully repays his enemies. Before she was in labor, she gave birth. Before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the Earth be made to give birth in one day, or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children. Shall I bring the time of birth and not cause delivery, says the Lord? Shall I who caused delivery shut up the womb, says your God? Rejoice with Jerusalem. Be glad with her, all you who love her. Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her, that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.
For thus says the Lord, behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowy stream. Then you shall feed. On her sides you shall be carried, and be dandled on her knees. You notice so far, throughout this passage, the whole motif is about motherhood, and bearing children, and being in labor. But look at verse 13. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. Now, there are two moms in view in this chapter. There is Jerusalem, Zion, depicted as a mother. And then there is God himself. In verse 13, God depicts himself as a mother.
Now the reason that's strange to our ears is because most of us, when we think of God, we never think of God in terms of motherhood. We always think in terms of fatherhood, and rightfully so. Jesus spoke about the Father, and his Father, and our Father more than anybody else in scripture. And when his disciples said Lord, teach us to pray, Jesus said, when you pray, say our Father. He is our Heavenly Father.
And we find that often in scripture. In Deuteronomy 32, verse 18, it says of the rock who begot you, you are unmindful and have forgotten the God who fathered you. So God was a father to the nation of Israel. Psalm 103, as a Father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him. For he knows our frame and remembers that we are dust. Galatians chapter 4, probably the most famous in the New Testament besides the Father, Paul writes, and because you are sons, God sent forth his, the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying out, Abba, Father. Therefore, you are no longer slaves but sons.
So God is our Father. And as a Father, he provides. As a Father, he protects. As a Father, he trains us. He corrects us. He disciplines us. That's often used in the New Testament. As a Father disciplines his child, so the Lord disciplines those that he loves. So we're used to that. We're used to referring to God the Father in our relationship to him. But there are other comparisons of this relationship. For example, in the scripture, God is seen as our king, and we are his subjects. Revelation 15, just and true are your ways, oh king of saints. As king, he governs. As king, he provides for us the kingdom of prevision, our highest good. And we in turn, are to be loyal to him as his subjects.
Also, God is pictured as a shepherd in scripture. And if he is the shepherd, we are his sheep, or his flock. So he feeds us. He leads us. He leads us to pasture. He leads us to still waters, as David wrote in Psalm 23. Also, in scripture, God is pictured as a redeemer, and we are his possession, his redeemed people, the ones he purchased. Another depiction of God in the Bible as he is the master, and we are his servants, his slaves. God is described as a priest. We are his people. He is described as the potter. We are the clay. He is described as the vine. We are the branches. There's many analogies. Father is the most typical one, and all these others follow. But today, in verse 13, we notice, and in this section, we notice how God uses the idea of motherhood. He pictures himself as a mother.
I want you to know, God is not confused about gender, by the way. He's never been confused about gender. He created gender. It says God made them. Male and female, he created them. And he knows the difference. And he created them to be different. So he has no gender identity issues. But because God created man and woman, he takes the best from his creation to ascribe a characteristic of his personality, and in this case a mother. It is probably the tenderest image in all of the world to depict the personality of God. In fact, I really never studied this passage as we're doing today. This is really the first time. I've preached a number of Mother's Day messages on a number of passages, but I've never really dug into this.
And as I was going through this and noticing that God describes him with the personality of a mother, bringing comfort, I thought, I'm really glad he did. Because just the name mother triggers in my mind all sorts of wonderful emotions, because of my own mother, and how she was for me. I have lots of joy, tender love, patience, grace. In fact, I was thinking, if you were to have told me before I became a Christian that God was like my Father, I probably would have stayed away from Christianity. Though I respected my Father, he was sort of stern and austere. But if you would have told me that God is similar to your mother. I would have listened. It would have opened my heart.
And that's because mothers, face it. They set the standard for love, right? When you don't want to talk about somebody who loves you no matter what, you think of your mom. You've ever heard the saying he has a face that only a mother could love? Right? You've heard that, right? That says a lot more about the guy's face. Says a whole lot about the guy's mother. Mothers love unconditionally, sacrificially.
And children are the benefactors. I read a little quip from a British psychiatrist named Dr. John Bowlby who said the first five years of a child's life are the most impressionable years for that human's development. And this is what he said. and I'm quoting. The young child's hunger for his mother's love and presence is as great as his hunger for food. Her absence inevitably generates a powerful sense of loss and anger. Mothers absolutely provide for their children a sense of stability like nothing else, and love, and tenderness.
There was even a Jewish proverb that said, God could not be everywhere. And so he created mothers. Of course, God can be everywhere. But it's just a nice way of saying that God spreads out his presence through these wonderful creatures that we call mom. And then to the Scotts had a saying. An old Scottish saying is an ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.
And I like that saying. Because a clergyman can only go so far. But a mom, in a little span, of time can affect so much more. Now, one of the obvious ways that God is like a mother is in this aspect of love, this unending love, this loving no matter what. So I want you to turn back to a couple of chapters. Go back to Isaiah 49. You're in Isaiah 66. But let's go to a very key passage in Isaiah 49 that I think dovetails perfectly with what we're reading, and adds some color to this idea.
Isaiah chapter 49, verse 14, but Zion said the Lord has forsaken us, and my Lord has forgotten me. Now, listen to God's response. Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the sun of her womb? Surely, they may forget. Yet I will not forget you. See? I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands. Your walls, and Jerusalem was a walled city. Your walls are continually before me. And I'll go back to that question. Verse 15, can a woman forget her nursing child? That's a rhetorical question. The answer would be no. A normal mother could never forget. And the question continues, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Any normal mother is going to love her child, no matter what.
Now of course, there are exceptions to this. There are some mothers who do forget their children. There are some mothers who do neglect their children. There are some moms who abort their babies, don't give them a chance to even be born. 18 out of 100 pregnancies in America and in abortion. There are some mothers who consume alcohol and drugs, endangering the very life of their baby in the womb. Some mothers have even been known to beat their own children. Some abandon their children. Some place their careers above their children. Some ignore them.
But here's the point. Most do not. Most mothers never do that. Most mothers love and sacrifice for their children. Most mothers arrange their whole lives around their children. And then God says, but even if you can find the exception to the rule, and you find a neglectful mother, know this. I'm not like that. I will never forsake you. I will never leave you. That's what God is saying he is like. So God compares his personality to a mother.
Now, go back to our texts in Isaiah 66. Let me give you a second aspect of this promise. God conveys his peace for a mother. Look at verse 12. For thus says the Lord, behold. I've always liked that word behold. I know, such a Bible sounding word, behold. But behold means look or see. Or we would say, hey, check this out. What God is saying, hey, check this out. Behold. Behold, I will extend peace to her. I'm going to convey, or give, or extend peace to her, like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowy stream. Then you shall feed. On her sides, you shall be carried. Some translations say at her bosom, or at her breast, you will be carried, and be dandled on her knees.
Now, there is an interplay in this section, in these verses, between two personalities that are compared to a mother. First is Jerusalem, and the second is God. God is promising peace for this mother, Jerusalem, the city, Zion, the people of Israel. He's promising peace and provision. That's the idea of what it says in verse 12, the glory of the Gentiles like a flowy stream. In other words, the substance of other nations is going to come to you, Israel, to Zion. The New Living Translation renders it this way. The wealth of the nations will flow to her. That's a poetic way of saying Israel is going to experience a huge economic boom.
Did you know, by the way, that little tiny country in the Middle East we call the state of Israel has today a $294 billion per year gross domestic product? Absolutely enormous. Israel today is the fourth leading exporter of citrus in the world. It is the third leading exporter of flowers in the world. It is the fourth leading exporter of diamonds in the world. And the nation of Israel has the second largest number of startups of any country on Earth. The wealth of the nations have flowed into her.
But here, in verse 12, it's a picture of being nourished, those people in Jerusalem being nourished by Jerusalem, just like an infant is carried along and is fed by its mother. And the promise is peace, peace like a river. One of the great themes of the Book of Isaiah is the promise of future peace, especially for the people of Israel, which is good. Because you know what the name Jerusalem means, by the way? Do you know what it means? Jerusalem means the city of peace. It's a great name. The only problem is, they haven't really experienced much peace in the last few thousand years. It has been the city of conflict. But one day, the city of peace will truly experience peace within its walls. And this seems to be a prophecy of the birth of the kingdom age at the end of the tribulation period.
Now, I want you to go back to verse 7, verse 7 and 8. Says before she was in labor, she gave birth. Before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the Earth be made to give birth in one day? So actually, we now have a third mother in view, don't we? The Earth, that's going to birth the nation of Israel. Shall the Earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? Israel's establishment will be so quick, the prophecy is indicating, it will be like a woman giving birth as soon as there's the first hint of labor. Now, in modern terms, we look back to a very specific date, May 14th of 1948. May 14th of 1948, something happened that pundits, politicians, experts, historians said would never happen. Israel became a nation.
After thousands of years of dispersion, after thousands of years of not being the nation of Israel, suddenly, the United Nations declared, on May 14, 1948, it was stated by Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister in Tel Aviv, that a nation has been born in a day. And I was I was going through a version of the Bible this week called the Amplified Bible. I'm comparing translations. And I noticed something I had never noticed before, because I had never studied this passage in the Amplified Bible. So I opened the book. Turned to Isaiah 66, started reading how the Amplified Bible renders it. And there's a little note at the bottom of the page that struck me, because there's not really any notes in the Amplified Bible, for the most part.
But there was on this page, and it was in reference to the verses that I just read. Here's the note. Never in the history of the world had such a thing happened before. But God keeps his word. As definitely foretold here and in Ezekiel 37, verses 21 and 22, Israel became a recognized nation actually born in one day. Now, I believe the prediction here isn't really about May 14th, 1948, as much as it is predictive of what will happen at the end of the tribulation period, that seven year tribulation, where the nation will recognize Jesus as the Messiah, after a very difficult period, and be birthed spiritually to recognize him.
Now, by the way, I just did a little research this week. You want to know who holds the record for the quickest human live birth, I mean, from labor to delivery? So I looked it up. And in 2015, an Australian mother by the name of Mary Gorgons gave birth to her fifth child in, get this, two minutes flat. Two minutes! It was, she got up to use the bathroom. This is two days before the baby was due. And she noticed as she was in the bathroom that her son's head was starting to crown already. So she yelled for her husband, who was sleeping in bed, to come in.
And so he got up, roused himself, and came to the bathroom. By the time he got to the bathroom, it was too late. Baby was born. 120 seconds. That was the length from labor to birth. And this is what she said about that. She said, actually, I had no inkling, no feeling, and no pain ahead of the birth. Every mother who hears that wishes that would be the case, it would be that quick, and that painless. But it's typically not. So we think whatever. I don't want to hear her story. But there's a technical term for this. It's called a precipitant labor. Any birth that lasts less than three hours from the first hint of labor to birth is under this category. The prediction that is made here, I believe, is about the end of the tribulation period.
By the way, do you know what another term for the tribulation period is in the Bible? Birth pains, or birth pangs, depending on what translation you use. And in the book of Romans, Paul indicates at that time, all of Israel will be saved. They'll recognize Jesus is the Messiah. They'll be a birth a spiritual restoration. So that's the exegetical part of this. That's the prophetic part of this.
Now I just want to kind of close this point on this note. Just as God is promising to this mother, Jerusalem, piece in the future, my prayer throughout this week for four mothers of this church, for mothers who hear this message, is that you would experience God's peace, especially after this crazy year we've all experienced. That you as a mother, who you've had to adjust and readjust your schedule of work, and their school, and training them, and all that has gone into that. And then they're growing up. And they don't like what you say. And they don't want to do what you tell them to do. And you sometimes feel, this is hectic. Is it worth it? It's worth it. It's so worth it. Keep sowing those seeds. What you do is so vital. And I am praying that you will experience the convenience of God's peace in your lives.
You know there was a, couple who went to church one Sunday morning. They dedicated their baby daughter to the Lord, and they were driving home after church. Their older son was in the car, I mean like five years old. And they were all happy. I mean, who wouldn't be happy? We just prayed and dedicated our child to the Lord. It was a happy day. But as they were driving home, little Johnny in the back seat started crying. And mom turned back and said, Johnny, why are you so upset? It's a great day. You should be happy. We prayed for your baby sister today. And little Johnny said, the pastor prayed that we would be brought up in a Christian home. But I want to stay with you guys.
And sometimes it feels that way, right? It's like you're doing the best you can. And they're not quite picking up on it or getting it or appreciating it. Hang in there. What they think of you today is not as important as what they think of you when they're 18 and 20. Keep loving them. Keep disciplining them. Hand to the plow. Because we need it. We all need it. Our society needs it. May God grant you peace in that.
I want to give you a final, a third aspect of God's promise here. The first is, God compares his personality to a mother. The second is, God conveys his peace for a mother. And really, the most important part, in my opinion, is the next verse. God comforts his people as a mother. Verse 13, as one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
So again, verse 7, the Earth is pictured as a mother. Verse 12, Israel is pictured. Jerusalem, pictured as a mother. Verse 13, God is pictured as a mother. And the key word is comfort, just like a mother comforts. In Isaiah chapter 40, verse 1, comfort, yes comfort my people, says your God. Speak comfort to Jerusalem. Isaiah 51, verse 3, for the Lord will comfort Zion. He will comfort all her waste places. One of the great names for God in the New Testament, 2 Corinthians chapter 1, he is called the God of all comfort, who comforts us and all our troubles, that we can be a comfort to those who are in any trouble by the comfort we have received from him.
And then Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the comforter living inside of us. So this begs the question. And this is how will end. How does God comfort his people? He says, as one whom his mother comforts, I will comfort you. So how does God comfort his people? Answer, he comforts us like a mother comforts a child. Let's consider a few ways. God comforts us by his presence, by his presence. It says in Psalm 16, in your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand, there are pleasures forever.
My experience is, my mom didn't always have to say anything. She didn't have to speak. She just had to be there, and she was there. And I distinctly remember times I got in trouble for being a bad boy. I won't tell you all the things I did. Well, I've told you a few of the things I did. But I remember my mom just being there, and not asking me many questions. I don't think she really wanted to know the details. She didn't ask probing questions. But she was there. And that presence was a great comfort to me.
A second way God comforts us, he comforts us by his promises. In Romans chapter 15, it says that we, threw the patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope. God gives us his word. God shows us his promises. And those promises bring us great comfort, just like a mother to a child. A mom makes promises to a child. A mother encourages and teaches a child.
I remember my mom saying things like, you can do this. You'd be really great at that, words of promise, words of encouragement. Can you remember some of your mom's sayings? Are they emblazoned in your head, like they are in mine, some of the little things she used to say? One man decided to write down what he learned from his mom, based upon the sayings that she told him frequently. And he said this. My mother taught me to appreciate a job well done. For she said, if you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning. He said my mother taught me about religion. She said, you better pray this is going to come out of that carpet. My mother taught me about time travel. She said, if you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week. My mother taught me logic. She would say, because I said so. That's why.
My mother taught me forsight. She said, make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident. I think my mom actually told me that. My mother taught me stamina. You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone. My mother taught me the circle of life. When she said I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.
Now, I know that didn't sound too comforting. But come on. There's nothing like mom's voice. I miss my mom's voice. There's nothing like mother's voice, her words, her promises. There's nothing like God's voice. If you had a mom who loved God and taught you to trust God, and gave you the promises of God, thank God and then thank her, and do it as soon as you can, if you haven't already. So God comforts us by his presence and by his promises. A third way he comforts us is by his personality. God has a generous personality. Would you agree with that? God is filled with mercy, and grace, and tenderness. And he always has more to give. Moms are generous with their personalities.
My mom had a very generous personality. She had a laugh that was infectious. You'd hear throughout the house. I love listening to her laugh. In fact, I tape recorded it, just so I'd have it after she went to heaven. But what I remember is just how generous she was. So when I was going to visit her when I moved away from the house and moved here, whenever I'd go to visit her, she'd want to know when I was like an hour away. You call me before you come. Because when I got there, she had like my favorite meal prepared, or favorite dessert. And it was just like a special occasion.
And then she wanted to sit afterwards and just talk, and give me all of her time. She was very, very generous with her time. God will comfort us in the same way, with his personality. And then finally, God comforts us by his people. God comforts us by his people. It was mom who took you to the right people. It was mom, probably, who took you to the doctor, mom who took you to the dentist, mom who often took you to church. It was mom who took you to baseball practice, or soccer practice, or cheerleading practice.
It was mom, who would send your older brother sister in to help you do your homework, right? Mom just sort of got you in touch with the right people. God is like that. God sends you the right people at the right time. How many times have you said, man, that phone call, that text, that word of encouragement came at just the right time? That's the Lord. 2 Corinthians chapter 7, Paul writes this. He was at a very depressing time in his life. He said God who comforts the downcast comforted us by the coming of Titus. Titus came. We were so encouraged. God sent him. God comforts us with his people.
So on this day, Mother's Day, second Sunday in the month of May, boy sound like a poet today. We honor moms, and well we should. Proverbs 31 says, and her children will rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also, for he praises her. So God rules the world. But today, we honor the one who rocked the cradle for us, gave us nurture and love, and who got us in touch, by that tenderness, with the personality of God Himself.
Father, we thank you for our moms. We thank you for faithful moms, who raised their children under very difficult circumstances. And this last year, year and a half have been certainly that. Thank you. Encourage, strengthen, bring your peace to them. And thank you, Lord, that you have chosen to compare yourself to that tender love and comfort of moms who give and love and care.And we say, like Paul the apostle, when it comes to you, Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for sending your son to pay the price for us on a cross, to take our sins upon himself, your own son, so that we could become sons and daughters. We thank you, and we bless you. We praise you. In Jesus' name, Amen.