Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Sunday

John 20
11Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12She saw two white-robed angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13“Why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
14She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15“Why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
16“Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned toward him and exclaimed, “Teacher!”
17“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.”
18Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

An empty tomb
A garden of strangers
Tears and confusion
and an old way of seeing.
To visit death
and find him missing
To visit death
that is no more. (mjk)

It was Robertson Davies that said, "the eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." For Mary, the context for her garden visit was death. She stood crying, that morning, as she expressed her confusion and pain before an empty tomb. A man spoke, but he remained a stranger to her in the context of death.

Science tells us that visual experience is useful because it creates memories of things seen that can later serve as a context for things never seen before. In this way, you can think of experience as a form of context that you carry around with you. (Encarta) In the context of death, the stranger remained a stranger as long as her Master and Lord remained dead and gone.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

When Aristotle imagined the process of seeing he imagined that the eye formed a likeness of the object before it and sent that likeness to the sensus communis, a centre of perception found in the region of the heart. In this sense, he is the perceptive forebear of Saint-Exupery and all those who believe that the heart has its own way of seeing.

Mary, in her grieving saw a stranger. Mary, hearing her name, saw her Lord. The eye of her heart opened and what was once invisible became visible and clear and alive once more. An eleventh-century prayer from a Spanish Mass expresses it this way:

Dic nobis Maria
quid vidisti in via
Sepulcrum Christi viventis
et gloriam vidi resurgentis...

Tell us, Mary, what you saw on the way?
"I saw the tomb of the living Christ
and the glory of his rising;
angelic witnesses, the towel and the linen cloths.
Christ my hope is arisen;
he goes before his own to Galilee."

Christ my hope is arisen: he goes before his own to Galilee. The singularity of this message stands for the ages: it lives outside of time and will always be so.

He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!


We live with the illusion that death surrounds us. We live with the illusion that we are powerless in its face. But Mary has a different message for us, a message that defeats death and sets our hearts aright. She says: "I have seen the Lord."

"I have seen the Lord" marks the end of death, and the end of its hold over us. "I have seen the Lord" is the confirmation we need of that which is written on our DNA: death is never the last word, and the Risen One remains in our midst. "Death, be not proud," John Donne wrote. Be not proud because your dominion is ended, your hold is broken, your power is no more.

What does it mean that death is ended? How do we live the message, how do we make it sing? St. Paul wrote these words, and every Easter they impose themselves on my mind as I imagine the font and the water and the gift of new life found in baptism:
Have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? 4For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Have you forgotten? Could we forget? While our minds may forget and our eyes refuse to see, it remains written on our hearts, written from the moment we emerged from the water of new life. Through the glorious power of the Father we live new lives, an endless opportunity to begin anew.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

Isaiah 53
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

A tragic hero has the potential for greatness but is doomed to fail. He is trapped in a situation where he cannot win. He makes some sort of tragic flaw, and this causes his fall from greatness. Even though he is a fallen hero, he still wins a moral victory, and his spirit lives on.*

For generations of grade nine students, forced to ponder Greek tragedy and the works of William Shakespeare, such a definition would no doubt evoke Macbeth or Oedipus the King. Introduced to the events of Good Friday and the story of Jesus, the same student might name the passion narrative as a tragedy in the classical mould. And they would be right. Anyone preaching "release to the captives" before the might of Rome was doomed to fail. Anyone preaching "new wine into old wineskins" in a powerful theocracy was trapped in a situation where he could not win. And anyone who would choose the path of the most vulnerable over the halls of heaven has already experienced what the world would call a fall from greatness.


He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

Isaiah the prophet describes the suffering servant in topography reminiscent of another hill where the Lamb of God met affliction and the pain of mortality. Like Isaiah's lamb, Jesus did not give voice to his suffering, did not lash out or mount a defense. Jesus accepted death, some might say invited death, and "carried our sorrows" as a response to human sinfulness. He walked from Bethlehem to Jerusalem and met us as we are and as we have always been. Isaiah saw this too:

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The words sing, not simply because a displaced German composer wrote a famous oratorio, but because they reach to the centre of our self-understanding and our view of a broken and indifferent world. The words sing because we sheepishly embrace the sheep in us all: astray, running away, and following in our own way. That our iniquity was laid upon the slain lamb remains a mystery of faith, but it is no accident that human sacrifice has existed in one form or another through every eon of human history, and with it, "all our sins and grief's to bear!"


In the spring of 1948, Reinhold Niebuhr, the American theologian, appeared on the front cover of Time magazine’s twenty-fifth anniversary issue. Under his portrait was the quote “Man’s story is not a success story.” This is remarkable in at least two ways: first, it is hard to imagine a professor from a theological college as the cover person of such a widely read, mainstream magazine. Secondly, that the twenty-fifth anniversary retrospective look would seek to ground itself in the work of a Protestant theologian seems equally incredible. No one at Queen’s Theological College, or even Harvard Divinity School, for that matter, would hope for such a turn of events.

“Man’s story is not a success story.” Poor Prof. Niebuhr, set up as the negative voice amid the heady optimism of post-war America. His dissonant voice, thoroughly out of step with the times, cast himself and many of his colleagues as the pall over what seemed a brilliant future. Totalitarianism had been defeated, everything was expanding, and future was bright.

For Niebuhr, life is a tragedy. In the same manner that Scott Peck began his famous book with the words "life is difficult," Niebuhr believed that the human way involved suffering and loss, and the abiding sense that things in this realm are not quite right. In this sense he adopted the role of the prophet, "telling forth" the unpleasant news of human living.

Niebuhr assumed the role of prophet because he saw that unchecked optimism flew in the face of reality. Niebuhr assumed the role of prophet because he knew that when we no longer regard life as an unfolding tragedy we forget the unpleasantness of the past and ignore the perils of the future.

To state it another way, if we focus only on Easter Sunday, the power of the story is lost. We need to be the people of Good Friday first, and only then can we appreciate the Easter message in its fullness. In fact, Niebuhr would argue that everything we need to have hope is present in the events of Good Friday: that the unfolding tragedy of Christ’s life and death holds the key to our faith. Neibuhr:

“For faith, the mystery of life is understood in meaning, though no human statement of meaning can fully resolve the mystery. The tragedy of life is recognized, but faith prevents tragedy from becoming pure tragedy.”

St. Paul said "the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor. 1) The cross is Checkpoint Charlie between those who are willing to gaze upon human sinfulness and those who are not. The cross confounds those who think we create our own reality. The cross demands that we embrace the broken and the vulnerable and demands that we set God there first. The cross is God's power in the face of every tyrant history can serve up.

Niebuhr continues:

“The Christian view of history passes through the sense of the tragic to a hope which is ‘beyond tragedy.’ The cross, which stands at the centre of the Christian worldview, reveals both the seriousness of human sin, and the purpose and power of God to overcome it.”


A man dies. Friends and family gather to honour his memory and decide to try, even for a little while, to live out the values that he lived. They are kinder to strangers. They hold their children close. When death is tragic, the impulse is even stronger, and people vow to make changes, to become better people. This is the power of God. Peter Abelard said that knowledge of Jesus' death on the cross can make us better people, can turn hearts of stone to hearts of flesh and hearts for love alone.

How does this work? Aristotle described the tragic as "incidents arousing pity and fear, by which to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions." In other words, tragedy transforms us: tragedy that befalls us and tragedy that enters our consciousness through religious knowledge. But there is more. Catharsis means to purify and to purge, to be made new. We are transformed through the death of Jesus, souls are cleansed and we are set free. Knowledge of Jesus' death on the cross can make us better people, can turn hearts of stone to hearts of flesh and hearts for love alone.

“Man’s story is not a success story.” True in 1948, it is more true than ever. What remains equally true, however, is the power of the cross, the power of the living God to overcome stony hearts and carry us home.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Palm Sunday

Mark 11
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.' "
4They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" 6They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"[b]
10"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"
11Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

For those of us who are immigrants to Toronto, the most common adjustment required was one of scale. If we just look at art and culture, Toronto overshadows everyone else: 125 museums in the GTA, over 50 ballet and dance companies, six opera companies
two symphony orchestras, over 150 pieces of public art and monuments, and three of Canada's largest parades: Gay Pride, Caribana, and of course, the Santa Claus parade.

I vividly recall my first experience of the Santa Claus parade in Toronto. New to the city, we figured out that if we took the kids and jumped the subway at St. Clair West station immediately after church we could go to Museum station and step out right as the parade passed, at least in the middle of the parade if not the beginning. The plan was inspired: we bundled up the baby (who has since morphed into a 5'8" monster), got his sister all primed and made it downtown in record time. We mounted the stairs in our moment of triumph and discovered...crowds! Thick crowds, eight, ten, twelve people deep, stretching in every direction. I recall tears. The following year we discovered that the parade is on television.

Now contrast this with little Kingston, Ontario. The conversation goes something like this:

"Is it today?"
"I think it's today. Let's go take a look"

Wandering downtown (a three-minute walk) we stand on the edge of the curb with literally tens of onlookers, and await the jolly old elf. Moments pass, and there he is, riding his sleigh and throwing candy to every kid standing by. No tears, or at least only tears connected to too much sugar and the profound need for a nap.


When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"

You don't need a degree in theology to guess that the parade that day in Jerusalem was more akin to little Kingston than the Santa Claus parade held in our fair city each year. At first glance, this idea is sort of disappointing, since we want Jesus' moment of triumphant entry to be grand and citywide, a spectacle to shake up the town and her people. Preachers in particular love to draw a parallel between the crowds on Palm Sunday and the crowds that shout for Jesus' death later in the week. It's a powerful idea, but one that isn't really supported by the text.

And beyond this initial idea of a "tale of two parades" lies another story, this one we can call "a tale of two messiahs." The first messiah lived in the hearts and minds of the Jewish men and women that lived under Roman occupation and dreamed of freedom. Israel had been client state since the return from exile in Babylon, enduring foreign ruler after foreign ruler and never knowing the reality of a local king. Some felt that kingship was failed experiment that should not be repeated, but others turned to their scrolls and found a new vision, a vision of a new David, a king and messiah that would rule in a new way:

5"Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD,
"When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
6"In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called,
'The LORD our righteousness.'

This vision from Jeremiah 23 is part of a body of literature that imagines a new style of kingship, a kingship devoid of corruption and greed and sponsorship scandals. The "righteous Branch" is the same hoped for ruler that lives in the imagination of most people but sadly only seems to appear during election campaigns. Every ruler promises to govern "cleanly," every ruler promises more jobs and more freedom and more prosperity and a jaded electorate only ever diminishes in strength.

Perhaps this is why so few turned out that day in Jesusalem. It is very telling that if you take the Gospels in order they were written, you will find that the later the Gospel the larger the crowd. Mark has no crowd. Luke says "crowds of the disciples." Matthew takes the bold step describing "crowds" and John, the very last to be written says "a large crowd." Like the fish that gets bigger with each telling, the evangelists grow the crowd over time and didn't know we would be reading these books side-by-side.

In our "tale of two messiahs," however, the hope was the same. The few that gathered that day to watch the triumphant entry had the same hope and the same messianic dreams as the ones who failed to turn out that day in Jerusalem. They closed their eyes in the same way and imagined the same promise fulfilled:

1Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3And He will delight in the fear of the LORD,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
4But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth. (Is. 11)

For those who followed the local news, those who watched for signs and longed for messiah to come, it is unlikely they imagined Jesus in this role. Even before his "triumphant entry," the local headlines would have left many in the anti-Roman camp feeling empty:

Itinerant preacher chooses twelve disciples
Jesus talks about seeds and lamps
Strange healing in Galilee
Man learns the hard way that pigs don't swim
Mass feeding reported
Jesus rejects divorce (then reveals he was never married)

For those looking for routed encampments and dead Centurions, the news from Galilee and the surrounding area would have been less than inspiring. For those on full-time messiah watch, men who bless children and go around talking about yeast are unlikely to challenge Roman hegemony. Even before he entered with shouts and words of praise, many if not most knew that this was not the messiah they were looking for. Same hopes, different messiah.

The second messiah in our "tale of two messiahs" rules a different kingdom, and can't stop talking about it:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed"
"The kingdom of heaven is like yeast"
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field."

This messiah preached an alternative vision to the vision of power and conquest and overcoming Rome and imagined ruling a kingdom quite unlike anything the world had ever known. This messiah saw a kingdom for the least and the last and the powerless ones and imagined that somehow faithful people could help bring it about. This messiah would reach people with words and parables and biting critique and "paint the kingdom" in colours too vivid to resist.

As his week in Jerusalem begins, we read this little passage that says more about Jesus and his future than much of the build-up to Holy Week.

The large crowd listened to him with delight. As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. (Mark 12)

This is the messiah to enters the city with tens of onlookers and continues to teach and share in the life of the common people that followed him. They listened with delight. His words were thoughtful and funny, his words mocked the self-righteous and placed the centre of heaven's kingdom where it belonged: within the hearts of those who listened to his words and followed in his way. It placed the centre of heaven's kingdom in the poor and the poor in spirit. It placed the centre of heaven's kingdom in the explosive growth of seeds and yeast, and it placed the centre of heaven's kingdom in the children he met on the way.

This is the profound threat that Jesus posed to the rulers and the so-called righteous: a kingdom where the least and the lost claim there place at God's side, where the broken and the estranged are called home, and a place where those who thirst for justice with be called God's children. Suddenly those tens of onlookers, shouting "hosanna," look very threatening indeed. Amen.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Fifth Sunday in Lent

John 12
20Some Greeks [g] had gone to Jerusalem to worship during Passover. 21Philip from Bethsaida in Galilee was there too. So they went to him and said, "Sir, we would like to meet Jesus." 22Philip told Andrew. Then the two of them went to Jesus and told him.
23Jesus said: The time has come for the Son of Man to be given his glory. [h] 24I tell you for certain that a grain of wheat that falls on the ground will never be more than one grain unless it dies. But if it dies, it will produce lots of wheat. 25If you love your life, you will lose it. If you give it up in this world, you will be given eternal life. 26If you serve me, you must go with me. My servants will be with me wherever I am. If you serve me, my Father will honor you. 27Now I am deeply troubled, and I don't know what to say. But I must not ask my Father to keep me from this time of suffering. In fact, I came into the world to suffer. 28So Father, bring glory to yourself.
A voice from heaven then said, "I have already brought glory to myself, and I will do it again!" 29When the crowd heard the voice, some of them thought it was thunder. Others thought an angel had spoken to Jesus.
30Then Jesus told the crowd, "That voice spoke to help you, not me. 31This world's people are now being judged, and the ruler of this world [i] is already being thrown out! 32If I am lifted up above the earth, I will make everyone want to come to me." 33Jesus was talking about the way he would be put to death.

April is anticipation month. April is the beginning of the end of the long wait for pretty boats that sit in parking lots to be plucked from their cradles and returned to their rightful place in the water. It goes against nature for a boat to spend time out of water, and it contradicts all human reasoning to live in a place where boats are out of water from October to May.

Anticipation month also happens out my back door. There, in the gray and muddy reality of my garden, lay the hopes of the season to come. Looking out, I see the tangled remains of last year's effort, mint beginning to appear green again, the tall stems of the Black-Eyed Susans and the Columbine I failed to deal with.

I make the Columbine sound like troublesome children. Yet in failing to deal with them, I have made more work for myself than I needed to. I will explain by reading from

Most columbines tend to self-sow. The taller types tend to self-sow more readily than the dwarf types.... If you enjoy the cycle of self-seeding, my suggestion is to let them try the first year. If you don't like the results, it's easy enough to remove the seedlings in future years.

Easier said, of course, than done. For you see the gentle phrase "self-sow" doesn't really give justice to a plant that creates dozens of seed pods, held aloft, each containing numerous seeds that left to their own devices will "self-sow" to complete chaos. It is nature's way, it seems, to maximize the potential for life by creating an extravagant number of seeds and playing on the weakness of the inattentive gardener. I can remember the mental conversation when I said to myself "self, those seed pods represent a little bit of work now or a whole lot of work later." The rest of the conversation is a blank.

The underlying theme here is potential. I know where the Hosta will appear one day, right where I planted it. Now I see only the withered remains of last year, but beneath the soil is a magnificent perennial that will please the eye for nearly half the year.


Jesus said, "The time has come for the Son of Man to be given his glory. I tell you for certain that a grain of wheat that falls on the ground will never be more than one grain unless it dies. But if it dies, it will produce lots of wheat."

Search John's Gospel for the word "time" and these words come up:

The time will come
My time hasn't yet come
It was almost time
His time had not yet come

And then finally, in chapter twelve, Jesus said, "The time has come--the time has come for the Son of Man to be given to his glory." Imagine the reaction of the disciples, steeped in the message that the time is coming to suddenly be confronted with the idea that the time is here. They are confronted by the message that the time is here and then confronted by the seeming incomprehensibility of the message: "a grain of wheat that falls on the ground will never be more than one grain unless it dies. But if it dies, it will produce lots of wheat." Granted the twelve were primarily fishermen, but living closer to the agrarian world that surrounded them, they would have readily understood the principle of seedtime and harvest. What would have puzzled them was the application of such a principle to the life of God's chosen one. Garden references are nice, but what do they have to do with the end of Roman occupation and the beginning of a new, more faithful government with Jesus on the throne?

And it gets worse. The "crazy talk" that has Jesus suddenly reflecting on death also reflects a shift in mood, a troubling lack of confidence from the one that worked signs and miracles and raised the dead to life:

Now I am deeply troubled, and I don't know what to say. But I must not ask my Father to keep me from this time of suffering. In fact, I came into the world to suffer. So Father, bring glory to yourself.

I want to pause here amid the trouble and the potential for suffering and read a bit from one of my favourite books:

This book is about the vital bond between our losses and gains. This book is about what we give up in order to grow. For the road to human development is paved with renunciation. Throughout our life we grow by giving up. We give up some of our deepest attachments to others. We give up certain cherished parts of ourselves. We must confront, in the dreams we dream, as well as in our intimate relationships, all that we never will have and never will be. Passionate investment leaves us vulnerable to loss. And sometimes, no matter how clever we are, we must lose."

Perhaps you are thinking "grim choice for your list of favourite books there, mister" and you would be right. The book is called Necessary Losses and in it Judith Viorst recounts every loss that humans experience from the harsh reality of leaving the comfort of our mother's womb to the last breath we draw. After four hundred pages of losses even the biggest Pollyannish person will say "perhaps my persistent proclivity for a positive perspective prohibits a proper point of view." Or something like that.

Jesus said, " If you love your life, you will lose it. If you give it up in this world, you will be given eternal life. If you serve me, you must go with me." The disciples took up the invitation to follow Jesus, to follow in his way, and live a life of some renunciation. They left family and community. They left jobs and the familiar. They left safety as they entered unfamiliar places. But these losses were minor compared to the implications of following a master who only now reveals that he came into this world to suffer.

I think there are some important points to lift up here. First, Jesus did not want to suffer, and the fact that it was coming was deeply troubling for him. Second, he was unwilling to ask God to take away this suffering, knowing full well that suffering and loss are at the centre of what it means to be human. And finally, he knew that his suffering, as horrible as it would be, would somehow bring glory to God. Note that this idea appears twice in this short passage in John, and each time remains as vexing as ever. How could Jesus' suffering bring glory to God? Why was Jesus willing to be "given to his glory" so willingly, even if the suffering he faced was part of the human story? Some of these questions will hang until Good Friday, when we try to find the "Good" in Friday and try to redeem the most terrible suffering, because not to try would be a great insult to the one who suffered on our behalf.

Perhaps the most we can do at this moment is to look honestly at loss. What have you lost? What do you value most and dread losing? Which losses have been easier and which too hard to bear? And in thinking about loss, which losses resulted in unexpected gain? When did the fear of loss lead to the recognition that some losses are not just challenging but may, in fact, be welcome?

Back in the garden very briefly, the underlying theme is potential. In the muck and the remains of last years garden is the potential for beauty and new life. In the loss of what was remains the potential of what will be. In the suffering to come will be the mystery of redemption and the glory that belongs to God alone.

The time is almost here when we will be confronted by the death of the one who entered the world to bring us life. Finding meaning in this death is very near the top of the job description of every Christian. Luckily for us, the clues to finding meaning are not-so-cleverly-hidden in our life together. It is hidden in the font, it is on the table with the bread and the wine, it is in our fellow travelers on the path of faith. Search while there is time, and may God bless you and your search. Amen.