Monday, February 29, 2016

The Lord's Prayer: the burden and the blessing

Isaiah 55:1-9
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Luke 11:1-13

“It is because of you,” says The Lord, “that My kingdom cannot come.”   Helmut Thielicke

“Our Father in heaven, holy be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us enough bread day-by-day. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.” Didache 8:2

Is it possible, as Thielicke had also observed, that we have already been set free from whatever it is that ails us but because we do not know what we truly need but are attuned primarily to our own desires, we continue to pray for comfort in our self-imposed prison cells?  The cells we refuse to leave because they have become our familiar “comfort zones”.  We are spiritually limited in these “cells”, but we don’t seem to notice.

Is Thielicke saying, then, the kingdom cannot come because we are not quite ready for it?

I have shared with you before that prayer is, for me and for many others, probably the most difficult of all the spiritual disciplines.  There are many reasons why this is so, but I wonder if it could be that as strong as our own personal desires may be, we have to admit we have no idea what we really need because we are completely attuned to what we desire

And this seems to be the point and the purpose of Jesus teaching us exactly how to pray and what to say.  We often forget that The Lord hearing a faithful prayer does not depend on our making a correct diagnosis of our needs and troubles and then offering The Lord a properly phrased and clearly outlined prayer/proposition.  We have, over time, been taught otherwise.  We have completely taken hostage for our own purposes Jesus’ words: “Ask whatever you wish in My Name, and it will be given you”.

Being faithful to pray The Lord’s Prayer instead of trying to find just the right words from our own experiences, our own desires, and our own fears may best be expressed in this way: “The praying which makes a powerful ministry … must be in the body, and form the blood and bones.  Prayer is no petty duty, put into a corner; no piecemeal performance made out of the fragments of time [we choose to make on our own terms].  Prayer requires the very best of our time.”  E.M. Bounds

This is to say we must first be willing to empty ourselves of our own desires, admit a profound need we cannot identify, and then be willing to abandon the self-imposed prison cells we often freely choose because there is so much we are accustomed to, so enculturated with that we are unwilling to let go.  We must admit that deep down inside we are afraid The Lord may overlook something if we don’t bring it to His attention.

And this, as Thielicke observes, is the importance of understanding it is Jesus Himself who teaches us to pray and tells us what to say.  Notice also that in this prayer Jesus retires into the background.  Theologians from the past have suggested from this that Jesus may have had no intention of being the ‘Son of God’ but wished only to reveal the Father more clearly while He remained unrecognized in the background – just as the Baptizer knew his time and his person must decrease so that Christ could increase.  John’s own faithful disciples may have desired John, but they needed Jesus.

The reason for this profound need, of course, is because the kingdom of God is where Jesus as the Eternal Word of God already is.  What this means is that the kingdom of God appears precisely at the place where there is blindness, lameness, sickness, and death.  The Kingdom does not shun any of these things because it is too good for the slums of human misery.  The Kingdom is not a distant realm of a golden city worthy only of the dignity of the Almighty God and the self-righteous.  

No, the kingdom of God is the light that is drawn to these places where we often sit blindly in our own darkness, in our own filth.  But the people who were gathered around Jesus cherished the delusion that the kingdom of God would be an earthly utopia where ease and comfort reigned.  But if this were so, then the Kingdom could not be in the midst of them  - or us

Someone once said (Joseph Wittig) said a person's biography should begin not with birth but with death because a person’s life is revealed only by its end, its goal, what was actually accomplished – not by its wishful thinking or good intentions.  The same can be said of the Church that is not defined by its birth but, rather, by its end and the means used to that end, that goal.  That the Church has certainly been called to a certain mission does not define what a particular church has actually chosen to be.

So our Father is always there first.  Our praying must always be an answer to that simple given fact.  If we take Bethlehem and Golgotha out of the world, the cry of The Lord will be silenced and praying will become meaningless.  Then every one of us and our children and our children's children are doomed to darkness, hearing only unknown footsteps, never finding out who it is, and therefore being condemned to cry out desperately "Who's there?" but never getting an answer.  In our own demands and desires we are condemned to sleep the rest of our lives the uneasy and comfortless sleep of the hopeless.

 Not for one second, however, will The Lord be diverted from the one theme of our life as His Church – the theme we keep running from.  Not for one moment does The Lord lose sight of the sore spot, the real need in our life, which we don't like to talk about because we would rather put others on the spot than to acknowledge the spot is really where we belong.  Being so honest with ourselves is not easy, our selfish demands not easy to face when we are honest; but this is also something our Father knows better than we ever will.

So we are often compelled to ask ourselves if we are permitted the intercessory prayers of Moses, or the prayers for the destruction of our enemies as expressed in many of the psalms, or the self-serving prayer of the so-called “prosperity gospel” in asking “whatever we wish in Jesus’ Name” – OR if we are comforted in and by The Word which became flesh who came not only to show us the fullness of life but to also teach us how we must pray until we are finally home.

The Lord’s Prayer has been memorized in a certain way for so long that it is often recited without soul, without feeling, and without any real thought; almost mechanically recited.  Memorizing it is not nearly as important as learning it again and fully embracing its components so we may become the disciples we are called to be; so we may be The Church we are commissioned to be.

Only when we are willing to admit The Lord knows much more about our genuine needs than we ever will is the first step in learning to trust a truly loving and benevolent Father whose desire is to lead us into the best life we can possibly know.  This is true faith, the faith which justifies, the very lifeblood of the Holy Church.  It is who we must become, for it is the only way we can be fully set free and learn to live as we are meant to live.  Amen. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The unholy alliance

“In the biblical view, it is actually an elemental law of human history that creation decays when it is separated from [its Creator] God.  When God is denied and forgotten, men [and women] cease to understand one another; they know only too well that the other person is no longer held in check by the command of God, but is left to his [or her] own incalculable urges.  This breeds distrust; and distrust produces quarrels, war, and fratricide.  None of this did God will, none of it did God send.  It is all the monstrous spawn and offscum of original human sin.”  Helmut Thielicke (1908-1986)

Thielicke’s observation is consistent with Jesus’ teaching principle that He, as the Word, is the vine from which we grow, and that we can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:1-8).  When we become disengaged from our very source of life, we cannot help but to wither until it becomes necessary to “prune” the “useless branch” from the vine so the vine may continue to flourish and produce good fruit just as it was created and intended to do.

Both observations speak directly to the highly charged and profoundly divisive political atmosphere in this country.  More ominously, these observations speak directly to the status and ineffective witness of the Holy Church.  We have created for ourselves an “unholy alliance” not unlike those political and military alliances which ultimately led to the fall and exile of ancient Israel.  The alliances failed, and the divided nation soon fell because it had a chance to make the right and righteous choice – and yet chose to distance herself from her Source of Life.

How can things be so nasty in a nation in which polls suggest nearly 90% of Americans “believe” in God?  Could it be more accurate to say 90% of Americans believe there is a ‘god’, hope there is a ‘god’, perhaps even a supreme and almighty being whom we so casually call “God”?  Of course it can be said, too, that simply believing something exists does not make it so, and believing without actually engaging in that belief as if it were true makes it even less true.  Therein, I think, lies the problem we face.

It is said every election season that “this one is the worst I’ve ever seen”, and I think we can honestly say it is truly getting worse each time, as the idiom goes: What we tolerate in this generation will be embraced in the next.  Yet this one is different and even more unsettling, more insidious, even perhaps diabolical - demonic.  What makes it so is that the nastiness on the campaign trail is a reflection of what springs forth from a faithless church.

I say that to say this (and will try to say it without getting too political or endorsing any candidate).  Donald Trump has the backing of the so-called “evangelical” bloc; preachers and lay Christians who are typically very conservative and fundamentalist when it comes to interpretation of the Scriptures. 

Donald Trump has shown himself to be a nasty, hateful, spiteful, vindictive hot mess with a foul mouth who curses those who disagree with him or call him on his nastiness (Trump is not the only one, of course, but he’s leading the pack of wolves).  This is also a man, a professed Christian (Presbyterian) who a) claims to an active member (his claimed church says he is not), and b) has publicly stated he has no need to ask for Divine forgiveness, a staple of Christian doctrine.  He simply self-corrects and makes right his own wrongs (his statement) according to his own standards.  Yet he curses and slanders his opponents (as do the others) and apparently sees no wrong in this.

This is not an indictment strictly against Donald Trump, however, or the others who are trying to beat him at his own game.  Rather it is an indictment of the makeup of a church which is substantially less than holy and doesn’t seem to care; a church that has decided someone like Donald Trump can and will be its protector; a man whom some seem to believe can actually deliver us from evil

The Church is made up of all kinds of individuals, and this is actually the strength of the Church.  There are those who are genuinely pious and faithful, and there are those who benefit from the faith and the piety of these few.  We become better disciples when we are called to account by these faithful individuals who are unafraid to call us on our bad behavior.  In fact it cannot be said we are truly “loved” if we are not called to account.  Rather we are being neglected to our own detriment.

So it is significantly the “evangelical” voting bloc that is supporting Trump and subsequently encouraging his foul mouth and activity.  What does this say, then, about a faithful church that is failing one of its own?  Are they afraid to confront him lest they lose whatever status they think they have with him?  Are they afraid to face the wrath of Trump?  Or is Trump expressing what is on the hearts and minds of this “evangelical” bloc?

What is destroying the Church is the false narrative in which we have been convinced that to hold someone accountable is to “judge” them.  We do not generally understand the difference between passing judgment (which is prohibited) and discerning good from evil (which is absolutely necessary for the Body to thrive) according to what is written in Holy Scripture.  What is much worse, even diabolical, however, is the idea that there is a man – any man – who can be trusted to deliver us as a people, who can save us as a church, who can satisfy our deepest cravings and desires … and do so while cursing anyone who may try to stand in his way!  My God in Heaven!  Can we not see that this is how the many will come to embrace the antichrist?? 

For the record, I am not suggesting for one hairy second that Donald Trump is the antichrist!

The fact that such persons even have a voice among the faithful means we have become almost completely disengaged from our Source of Life and are looking for another.  We are looking for tangible protection from perceived enemies.  We do not trust our God so we have removed ourselves from the Vine, and we are “withering” under the weight of our own curses until – while we are trying to destroy those we deem to be our enemies – we are ultimately destroyed ourselves.

“Hear, O [people of the Covenant]: The Lord our God, The Lord is one.  You shall love The Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength!  And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children …” Deuteronomy 6:4-7a

Is the political reality of our time what we truly desire to teach our children?  Can we not see that the political rhetoric gets worse with each passing generation because this is what we teaching our children?  Can we not admit that we cannot possibly be in two boats at the same time? 

Let the Church be the Body of Christ, what she has been called to be, in a world filled with darkness.  Let the Church be the Light of the Gospel’s call from that darkness!  Politics will be what it is and we can only vote the way our consciences tell us to vote, but we must not pretend we are electing a prophet who can protect or restore the Church to its glory.  The Church is built upon the Foundation of only One.  There will be no other.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Genesis 15:1-16
Philippians 3:17-4:
Luke 13:31-35

“All things come to those who wait – provided they know what they are waiting for.” Woodrow T. Wilson

While waiting for a particular event, what do we do while we wait?  Depending on the event, we may do any number of things to prepare.  If we are waiting on guests to come to our home, we will likely spruce up the place and make sure refreshments are prepared.  Same could be said for the Church – IF we actually expect guests to come after we’ve invited them.  When we are waiting for a class session to begin – whether it be high school, college, or Bible class – we ideally prepare ourselves for the class by reading the assignments for that session.

It is rare that we simply wait by doing nothing.  Yet if we do nothing, we are not being faithful to what is anticipated even when what is expected is only tomorrow, another day.  So when we don’t really anticipate anything special, we do nothing special.  Wait for nothing, do nothing.  This is no life for the people of The Covenant because “waiting” is not about what is to come; it is entirely about what is already upon us.

Abram was told by The Lord that his descendants would be as numerous as “the stars in the sky” (Genesis 15:5).  The Lord’s response to Abram’s willingness to believe in and trust The Lord’s assurance was to be “accounted as righteousness” (vs 6).  An interesting interpretation of this commonly known but largely misunderstood statement comes in the Common English Bible in which this statement is rendered as “The Lord recognized Abram’s high moral character” -  what the editors of CEB believe to be a faithful rendering of what the passage actually means.

Now we may be inclined to define morality as refraining from doing bad things, but genuine morality – especially as a part of our character – is as much about what we do as what we do not do.

What is awkward about CEB is that such words common to the Church but not well understood outside or even inside the Church – such as “righteousness” – are “explained” rather than simply changed. 

Another word I found from our readings is “wait”.  Although we think we have a good idea of what it means to “wait”, the CEB translates “wait” in NRSV (and NKJV) Psalm 27:14 as “hope”.  So rather than an almost inactive “wait for The Lord” as it is written in NRSV and others, the CEB states, “Hope in The Lord”.

Now before we think “wait” and “hope” are not quite the same concepts or that they both seem rather inactive, we should consider Jesus’ statement to His disciples in the Garden.  The NRSV states that Jesus encourages His disciples to “stay awake and pray” (Matthew 26:41).  The CEB renders this passage as, “Stay alert and pray”.   Incidentally the NKJV says, Watch and pray”. 

Where the seeming differences begin to coalesce is in Abram’s response to The Lord’s assurance of countless descendants – perhaps meaning a perpetual Covenant rather than only a lot of offspring.  Abram, however, will not live to see this Promise come to fruition – at least, not in this life.  At this point in Genesis – and at his advanced age – Abram is still “waiting” to see his own son, his own “seed”!

Yet his “high moral character” – not to be completely separated from his willingness to “believe” – must be understood not as a simple, almost benign willingness to “believe” a concept but, rather, as a determination to live in such a way that makes this Divine Promise a present (rather than only a future) reality … even if Abram cannot (and will not) see it with his own eyes.

What does this mean to us?  It suggests “waiting” and “believing” are not quite the same as “hoping” and “trusting” withhigh moral character”.  It suggests the people of The Lord cannot simply wait and see if something is going to happen; we must actively engage the world around us with “high moral characteras if something has already happened and is currently happening – but we must not confuse biblical “high moral character” defined by Divine Law with subjective cultural moral character subject to new definition each generation. 

Only a generation ago, for instance, it was considered rude to do anything that did not involve the person we were currently with.  Now it is considered standard protocol to interrupt a conversation if our cell phone blings, beeps, or rings – and put the person who is physically present on ignore while we deal with our beloved cell phones and a call that is obviously more important to us than the person we’re with!  Only The Lord knows what the etiquette rules will state twenty years from now!

Complacency is the greatest enemy the Church faces today, and part of the reason for this is that faith as we understand it depends largely on an idea of something that will happen in the distant future regardless of what we do today.  Consider this, for instance.  If Jesus were present in this worship service, would we do anything differently?  TRICK QUESTION … because The Lord IS here, right here, right now!  But we don’t really believe that because we do not think we see HIM – because we are not looking for Him, we are not “waiting” for Him.

Yet He is in our worship, for we worship in the Word.  He is in our pain.  He is in our confusion.  He is in our wounded spirits after someone has deliberately lashed out at us.  He is in our tithes and other offerings, and He also sees us withholding these offerings.  He is even in our doubts. 

He is standing beside us when we gossip and conspire to do something even knowing it will hurt someone, and He is grieving in our spitefulness and vindictiveness – those things we actually do.  The truth, however, is that we do not really believe this.  We believe, most likely, that we are “waiting” for a future reality rather than that we are living in a present reality that still involves The Lord.

If we really want to know what biblical “waiting” actually looks like, we need look no further than Scouting.  These young people and their leaders have their fun, of course, but their entire purpose for existence is marked by their achievements, almost all of which involve learning how to serve The Lord and the community.  We may think they are “doing” only for merit badges rather than “waiting”, but the biblical Truth is we cannot “wait” if we are not “doing” for The Lord, for His Church, and especially for those who are not currently a part of The Church.

My wife and I went to see the movie, “Risen”.  It is about Pontius Pilate initiating an investigation of the body of Jesus which turned up missing from the tomb.  Pilate was afraid of an uprising if the Jews ended up with a bona fide Messiah.  It was a very good movie with a lot of twists and turns, but toward the end we find Peter trying to help a Roman military commander who was involved in the investigation to understand why the disciples were so happy and unafraid of Pilate’s threats if it turned out they stole the body and tried to claim He had risen.

Peter looked the Roman in the eyes (I’m trying very hard to avoid a spoiler alert!) and said, “How can I not tell others about this (the Resurrection)?”  And the biblical reality is that even while Peter and the others are “waiting” for The Lord’s return, they are “waiting” faithfully by living into the present reality of all they have been entrusted with.

The Church must teach about the return of Messiah, but we can only do this by faithfully teaching that “waiting” is biblically defined by what we do, how we live and conduct ourselves, in the present reality of the Risen Messiah – not by what we expect to happen in the future.  We “wait” faithfully and patiently for His return by living in Him presently.

He is coming, yet He is already here.  The Lord will deliver His people, and yet He already has delivered.  It is the reality of Moses being introduced to the One who revealed Himself as “I am that I am” – the Eternal One who is past, present, AND future.  Just as Eternal Father, Eternal Word, and Eternal Spirit are One, so is His presence our reality – past, present, and future.  Eternity does not begin when we die; Eternity already is. 

So let us learn and encourage one another to “wait” faithfully and live fully, and stop cheating ourselves, one another, and the Holy Church.  For the Promise already is.  Amen.  

Monday, February 08, 2016

Behind the Veil

Exodus 34:29-35
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Luke 9:28-36

“If you don’t see the greatness of God, then all the things money can buy become very exciting.  If you can’t see the sun, you will be impressed with a street light.  If you’ve never experienced thunder and lightning, you’ll be impressed with fireworks.  And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God, you’ll fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures.”  John Piper, author and teacher

There are no human words sufficient to express the Glory of The Lord, and yet the people of The Lord are charged with that very thing: expressing The Lord’s glory and majesty, and conveying His mercy and His goodness.  But as Mr. Piper pointed out, if we know nothing of these attributes of The Lord in a real way beyond what is theoretical, we will be easily distracted by things we can actually touch with our hands and see with our eyes. 

These things – and even some persons – are often mistaken for blessings when they suit our purposes rather than to see them as potential distractions and temptations that draw us away from The Lord and His Church.  When we do not see beyond the veil which separates death from life, as Paul writes to the Corinthians, we will settle for far less than what The Lord has in mind for His Church.

Whether we are talking about the Transfiguration of Christ or the shining face of Moses, there is more for us to see than just words on the pages.  These are about vision beyond what we see right in front of us.  They are about what we not only see in these written accounts, but what we continue to see through these lived experiences; because in order for these accounts to have real meaning for us, they have to be meaningful to us beyond theoretical doctrine.  They have to matter in worship, in prayer, in study of the Scriptures, in daily living, and in our outward expressions – none of which a disciple of Christ can live without.  That is, of course, if we truly wish to be a Church vital to The Lord’s mission to make disciples and to live the Life offered to us in Christ.

Consider, for instance, the lottery.  Winning a bazillion dollars may seem like a blessing and we all think we will do better than the poor souls who staked their lives on the lottery, won more money than they could even imagine, and ended up losing their lives, their integrity, their friends, their families, their self-respect, and even in some instances their souls. 

This spiritual disintegration actually begins long before the drawing.  When we fantasize about winning so much money and try to imagine all the wonderful things we think we would do for The Lord and His Church with all that money, we ignore what we already have, we covet what we don’t have and probably don’t need, and we deny or ignore altogether what we can already do for The Lord and His Church with what has already been entrusted to us.  In this fantasy world, we are living behind the veil and are cheating ourselves and The Lord out of the Life we are called to.

I know a lot of people would not agree, but that’s pretty much how we all were when we were silly and foolish teenagers who believed we were filled with kerosene, made of steel, and knew everything.  It’s not even about whether buying lottery tickets or having fun with such fantasies is sinful; it is about an enduring vision beyond what is right in front of us, being able and willing to look beyond what we can see or taste or touch.  Learning to look and to live beyond the veil.

There are three similarities in these accounts of Moses climbing Mt. Sinai as The Lord had directed, and the disciples following Jesus up what is believed to be Mt. Tabor.  The first parallel to the stories is the climb itself.  It is said the climb to either is overwhelming.  It would take some hardy bodies to be able to make these climbs by foot!  These are not afternoon strolls or casual nature hikes!  But the vision enjoyed once the climb is endured promises to be well worth the effort.

The second parallel is the Divine summons.  Moses had been instructed by The Lord to cut two new tablets before coming back up the Holy Mountain to replace the ones that had been shattered when Moses witnessed the Golden Calf incident (Exodus 32:19).  The disciples were instructed to follow Jesus, believing they were going off to pray – both an expectation of encountering the Holy but neither really expecting what they actually encountered.  They got much more by their willingness to heed and to follow The Lord. 

Finally, there is the Transfiguration of Christ Himself that might be comparable in some ways to the shining face of Moses.  Where the similarity might end, however, is knowing Moses saw some manner of what the disciples saw in Christ.  Moses witnessed the Divine Reality that is bigger than the moment in which he witnessed it, and Jesus became the Divine Reality that transcended that single moment when He stood in the presence of all He came to fulfill (Matthew 5:17): the Holy Word already revealed in the Divine Law and in the prophets.

For us today, however, it’s all doctrinal theory.  We read it, but we do not know what to do with it.  Even though St. Peter writes of this experience in his second letter – “We witnessed His majesty with our own eyes.  He received honor and glory from the Father when a Voice came to Him from the magnificent glory” (2 Peter 1:16-17) - we still have nothing at our disposal but to trust what is written if we refuse to see beyond these moments, beyond the veil

There has to be something useful for us in these stories than the mere testimony of an apostle whom we never met writing about something we never saw and cannot really imagine.  Reading Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount gives us encouragement and even moral lessons on how to deal with life’s challenges, so there are concrete lessons not only from Jesus’ sermon but also from the Divine Law itself which is actually reflected in the Sermon on the Mount

We can get from these lessons some profound insight for daily living if we will learn to reach beyond the mere words written on a page.  Too often, however, we settle for this instead of allowing the Holy Law to be written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33).  We must learn to look beyond the veil of these Holy Words written only on stone or paper.  They must become more to us than mere doctrinal theory.  This requires living these words, for this is what makes these words the truly Holy Word of The Lord.

In the Transfiguration and in Moses’ shining countenance, however, words are all we have about an experience that is surreal, having the intense irrationality of a dream and at the same time very real.  We want to believe it, we need to believe it, but we also need for it to be useful for more than simply knowing something took place, having the academic satisfaction of memorizing a few Bible verses, or even affirming Jesus’ divinity.  We have to have these experiences for ourselves.  We have to answer the Divine Summons, and we have to be willing to endure the heart-popping climb up the mountain.

More than even this, we have to desire this experience for ourselves enough to endure the climb!  So our challenge is to look more closely into these experiences and discover what is revealed to us.  For it is about far more than an incomprehensible vision; it is about Life itself and whether that Life is defined and informed by the Holy Word or by words we make up to suit ourselves.

Some may consider St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians about this veil to be indicative of the uselessness of The Law itself since we are people of a New Covenant.  However, part of the term and The Lord’s desire of this New Covenant revealed in the prophet Jeremiah (31:33) does not diminish the need or the impact of The Holy Word, the Law itself.  What is beyond the veil is much more about what is written in our hearts by the Spirit of the Living God than what is written on pages by humans.

When the fullness of the Holy Word becomes central to our daily living and does not remain restricted only in what we choose to memorize, then we begin to “be transformed into that same Image from one degree of glory to the next” (2 Corinthians 3:18).  We begin to make a profound transition from “patterns of this world to being transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). 

This is the Holy Spirit moving within us not by compulsion against our own will but by the determination of our response that we will climb that mountain, that we are the people of The Lord, that we are the people of the Holy Covenant, that we are the Body of Christ – the Holy Church.  The transformation is measured by our willingness to be transformed rather than to be happy with the knowledge of words written on a page but lacking the spiritual wisdom to live the life our God has set before us.

It is the difference between living life on our own terms and finding pleasure where we can – behind the veil which is death – or living fully into the Life beyond the veil which can only be revealed fully in the Word, in the Messiah who lived the Word and still lives it today.  The Body of Christ cannot long endure without it.  Amen.