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good morning friends how you doing today my name is alex I’m one of the pastors here if you’re visiting we’re really glad that you are it’s great to have you here uh and uh yeah what a beautiful day to join us on I’m gonna start us with a question um I’m gonna start us with this question do you have a weakness do you have a weakness I’m not talking like a vice or like a a sin issue or something like that to use some language we might use in churches I’m just talking about something that if somebody offers it up to you you’re going to find it really hard to say no like so every now and again every maybe once a year my beautiful wife will come to me and say I think we should go on a diet mainly like for health reasons just to you know make sure everything’s working properly and so we usually do this one called whole30 which requires giving up a load of things that I love and me being fairly resentful for 30 days of just of supposed wholeness I don’t feel very whole I feel empty but we do it and here’s the truth I can look brownies in the face and be like no not interesting candy not a problem uh but bread bread is going to be really hard for me to give up so some good friends of ours came to us and said you know you’ve got no gallbladder anymore we want to make sure you’re on a diet that’s going to keep you healthy for a long time and I’m like you’re going to tell me to give it bread aren’t you and you can stop right there I’m I’m not going down that route I I love bread and then when I moved to america someone presented me with this thing

now when I came I was deeply suspicious of of you people that have come to love very much um I I was I I didn’t think that you understood um beer or chocolate or um something some other stuff as well but but bread as well and then I got this and I it confirmed some of my suspicions I’m afraid I even found a list of ingredients that’s a lot of ingredients for bread let me just say that generally bread comes with five ingredients and and azodia carbonamide is not traditionally one of the ingredients of bread nor is high fructose corn syrup and all of these other things so a few life lessons for you if this is still your bread of choice uh if you can leave bread in a drawer for two months and it looks the same when it came comes out that’s not bread if you can squash it into a ball and it springs back into the shape that it was before you squashed it also not bread so I just thought it was worth getting that out of the way as we begin our discourse on bread so so just to make sure we were all on the same page I had someone make this my good friend eric schmidt made this for me uh and and I’ll be honest someone on staff I think it was aaron said to me so is this like an illustration of something I was like not really I guess it could be really what it is is I’m on whole30 and I really want to eat bread so so just as part of the sermon this just felt like an opportunity for for me to ah look at that it’s so good for me to have bread and if you’re watching at home you can go get some bread but these guys in here they’re stuck with me and uh man and eric schmidt is working some kind of witchcraft with this stuff this stuff is incredible and so here’s the deal if you listen patiently and well I will share some with you at the end of the service I’ll be walking around I can’t do that to you anymore oh that’s so good let me take a drink of water and then we’ll get started for real

we get to talk about bread and in Jesus day the conversation about bread was a very real one there was a discourse on bread who had it who didn’t have it in a society that looks almost nothing like ours today he spoke mainly to a group of people who survived on wages from day to day if you didn’t work today the chances are you didn’t have bread tomorrow and that got bad really really quickly Jesus talked regularly and often about bread before we go too far down this train though let me just make sure everyone’s up to speed this whole prayer begins with some disciples of Jesus coming to him and saying lord teach us to pray to phrase that another way you may say they asked a question something like this or made a statement something like this show us something that works show us something that works they were not irreligious people they had grown up with religion but in Jesus they see a way of being a way of connecting with God that seems and appears to be different so their plea to him is show us what you’re doing how is this working for you we want to learn from you and in response he gives them 57 words after a preamble that teaches them a couple of principles and they are these the ones that you just read our father in heaven hallowed be your name your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us today our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one as we talked about a couple of weeks ago there is one opening that really changes everything the idea that you and I can come to God and call him father that these 12 men could come and call him father was groundbreaking enough but then three clauses about God three things that speak about God and his name being holy three things that they talk about God and his kingdom that might come and his will that might be done on earth like it is in heaven and then these three petitions that were slowly getting to and yvonne walked us last week through your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven so this is matthew writing an early follower of Jesus a slightly later follower of Jesus called luke we’ll phrase it just a little bit differently father hallowed be your name your kingdom come he leaves out the heaven part but it seems that matthew wants to remind us that there is a place on earth where God’s will is done it may not be this place right now but it will be one day he wants to say that in all the universe that you see there may be only just earth where his will isn’t done maybe just maybe everywhere else it is done and maybe that can change one day and maybe you and I get to participate in that on some level these were people that had a very definite view of tears in the world so I picked the shire because it exemplified to me the most about what is wholesome on earth but there was the earth here and then they were very aware of the tear above the earth here somewhere there was earth and then there was heavens and later on as the language started to develop as the thoughts started to develop you slowly start to get this other place that you don’t want to go but for most the most part the language was fixed on there is earth and then there is heaven and what would it look like if heaven stepped down to earth what would it look like if the principles that were at work in God’s kingdom there started to work here as well this in the first century was rebellious language the roman empire covered maybe half the known globe at this point and you couldn’t pass it off and say well you know we’re really talking about a spiritual kingdom they didn’t want any other kind of kingdom you couldn’t say it’s going to be some time in the future they believed their kingdom the roman empire was going to last forever it was a problem however you phrased it when Jesus talks about a kingdom coming he’s using what you might call eschatological language now I know some of you are only one coffee into the day so throwing words like eschatological at you is a little unfair but I just mean like to do with the end to do with some kind of change some kind of way God might work in the world and so yvonne walked us through the fact that God invites us to participate and partner with him in this world you are offered a commission and and you get to participate you get to say yes which is good news indeed and then after all of this after all of this spatial language this big story he then says oh and give us today our daily bread it’s space it’s up there it’s eschatological it’s stepping down into this world and then it’s give us today our daily bread it’s bread it’s just bread give us today a daily bread what did Jesus mean what did Jesus mean and and maybe what does Jesus mean or what did Jesus mean by bread the language that he uses is actually maybe a little confusing certainly interesting he uses this phrase appusion auton so our tony’s bread and then a pusion appears nowhere else in greek literature of this age it’s just not there it’s just missing this is the one time it gets used you might say it’s the right amount of bread for tomorrow if you’re praying at night it’s like God provide for the next day provide for the the near range the the sort of like the just about to arrive time frame what does Jesus mean when he says give us today our daily bread what does he mean by bread so given that he talked about a kingdom coming down maybe it’s that word I used already that confusing long word eschatological is that what he’s talking about is he saying God provide for this kingdom to come provide for this thing that we can’t see yet give us the resources to make the kingdom happen you could make an argument that the translation could be the bread for what’s next the the bread for the coming thing but there’s a problem with that reading because Jesus for the most part when he says bread he means bread Jesus dealt very particularly with people’s physical needs he did it often and regularly he cared about what was practical so I would suggest that the large part of this language about bread is about the physical what we’re seeing here is this it’s a petition for provision it’s a petition for provision and in a community like the one Jesus was operating in that was important language may be difficult for people like you and I to understand the average american spends about six percent of their salary on sustenance on bread and food the average nigerian spends 60 percent of their salary on bread or on food and a hundred years ago the average person in the west spent around 90 percent of their celery on bread or on food add dialogue and narratives around bread have fluctuated and change as the years have gone on but to this community as I began with the language about bread and the daily need for it was was very relevant and very important some people had lots and lots of people had none so when Jesus says daily bread one it spoke very much into like a deep need that they were aware of what if God doesn’t provide for tomorrow but it also probably tapped into at least one story that taught them a lot about how God might provide bread for them so if you have a text that you’re following along in you can go back to exodus chapter 16 and we’re going to pick up in verse 1. the whole israelite community is how it begins this israelite community it speaks of have been in slavery in a land called egypt the superpower of the day for about 400 years uh life has been rough they have cried out to God and deliver her deliverer has come called moses and he has miraculously through God’s favor brought them out of egypt into this desert which is between elim and sinai on the 15th day of the second month after they had come out of egypt in the desert the whole community grumbled against moses and aaron they have come from a city where there are some resources and now they are in a desert where there are no resources what do they not have in deserts they don’t have water and they don’t have bread and so this community finds itself free but now starving hungry the israelites said to them if only we had died by the lord’s hand in egypt they specifically say we wish we were dead it would have been better this way why didn’t he just kill us then there we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted and maybe we questioned are you remembering the story accurately the slavery that you described was not one of sitting around big pots of meat it was not one of abundance and yet to this starving people suddenly it’s like if we could go back remember the old days they were so good we got to eat all that we wanted life was great but you have brought us out into this desert to staff the entire assembly to death you’ve brought us out to staff the entire assembly to death the people are grumbling the people are unhappy then the lord said to moses I will rain down bread from heaven for you the people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day gather enough for that day I will rain bread it won’t be something you work for it will come gravis free of charge on the house it will lie on the ground and your job is simply to go and collect it but just gather enough for that day and in the morning there was a layer of jew around the camp when the jew was gone thin flakes like frost on the ground disappeared appeared in the desert floor when the israelites saw it they said to each other what is it for they did not know what it was moses said to them it is the bread the lord has given you to eat this is what the lord has commanded everyone is to gather as much as they need take an omar for each person you have in your tent the israelites did as they were told some gathered much some gathered little and when they measured it by the oma the one who gathered much did not have too much and the one who gathered little did not have too little everyone gathered just as much as they needed in this story God provides for his people and he provides the right amount in this story they don’t have resources they don’t have access to resources and God provides anyway and you see this sort of miraculous provision appear in some of the other language in this old testament the lord is my shepherd famous psalm 23 I shall not want this is a group of people that believed that had stories about the way that God had provided I I shall not want might not even be a particularly good translation of it you might say the lord is my shepherd I lack nothing God my shepherd I don’t need a thing to the people listening to Jesus there were real stories of how God had provided and this possibility was sketched out that he would provide everything that they need and I would suggest that Jesus says the same to you and I and yet here’s the problem how many of you would say that feels true or true in your life perhaps is a better way of saying that now in a community like south a ton of economic diversity people in all sorts of different situations I might say it may not be true because you actually come and you sit here and you say I have a real need that feels like it isn’t being met I don’t have enough it may not be bread but it’s something I feel like in the world system that I’m sitting in I don’t have enough to survive and thrive so that may be one way of looking at having a want or a need but on the other hand couldn’t it be that just we live in a society that constantly plays with us so we want more and more and more and even when we have enough maybe we’re not actually very satisfied either maybe there’s a different sort of connotation to this maybe you’ve noticed that you might buy a car and for a while it’s good but you spring back to normal very quickly and and then you kind of want or need depending on your language something else you buy a house and it’s nice but you go to a neighbor’s house and and well that one’s nicer you get stuff and and it’s slowly that the satisfaction of it disappears this is uh a piece of as a verse from the the bandwizard there’s always a number that’ll make you feel bad about yourself you try to measure up try to measure up to somebody else numbers are out to get you there is a way maybe that we compare to each other that makes our satisfaction disappear and and gives us this sense of there are lots of things that I want and or need even if that maybe isn’t particularly true I have a friend that used to do financial advice and he told me all of the metrics that he had for how he what he drove in terms of a car and what kind of watch he wore and he explained to me once he said I’m supposed to make people money so if I drive a honda their suspicion is that I’m not making very much money now no problem with honda’s if you drive a honda good for you they’re great cars but he said I can’t I can’t drive a hunter they’ll say I’m not good at my job but he said if I drive a ferrari then they’ll think I’m well maybe not too good at my job but I’m certainly taking too much of their share of the profits and he said there’s this whole system for what you drive and what you don’t drive what watch you wear and what watch you don’t wear he recognized that there was this numbers game in play and and the story with lots of guys is they meet people and say what do you do for a living and sometimes it’s just we can’t think of anything else to say but sometimes it’s a it’s a way of assessing it’s a way of figuring out where do I fit in the order do I fit above you or below you we live in a world that’s constantly telling us to check how you measure up with everybody else for those of you that are on instagram there’s a fascinating instagram site called preachers and sneakers you can look and follow your favorite celebrity preacher and they’ll take pictures and they’ll go work out how much the the clothes that they’re wearing cost in the fair market so we see here a guy who I don’t know that’s why I picked him I didn’t think it was fair to pick someone I knew uh but it says that he bought these shoes that maybe are about a thousand dollars normally and there he goes and I’ll show you this so you can keep me in check right if I ever end up on here you can come and slap me or something like that I think I’m fairly safe today I don’t think I don’t think there’s going to be a problem but but there’s this whole culture here right even the new york times asked the question should pastors wear five thousand dollar sneakers even for those of us that would claim to be following Jesus in a particular way there is a temptation to think about what the outside looks like and how you can measure up to people around you some wise person once said that comparison is the enemy of contentment the moment that you choose to compare to other people the moment your contentment drops and maybe the way that you pray this prayer Jesus gave us changes just a little bit what do you mean by give us our daily bread it’s so easy to move from I need sustenance to I need a bunch of other stuff it’s so easy to make that movement and the truth is your news feed whatever you look at it probably alters your felt need your newsfeed probably alters your felt need maybe our language in prayer changes maybe this is why the incredibly wise people that put together the proverbs said this give me neither poverty nor riches but give me only my daily bread they go on to unpack this for two reasons otherwise reason one I may have too much and disown you and say who is the lord affluence wealth or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God in the first century the second one was a concern for most of Jesus listeners what happens when I really don’t have enough what happens when the bread is gone do I then steal do I then kill do I dishonor my God just to get enough to live and so the prayer there is God please don’t give me that little that I fall temptation to that the first one maybe is more of a concern for us who don’t lack bread for the most part otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say who is the lord Jesus was constantly saying to his earliest followers to the people of the crowds that were listening to him just be aware that wealth does funny things to people this is matthew 13 22 and I spent just some of the week just thinking about this and the connection to what Jesus says to us to pray as for the seed that was spread among the thorny plants he’s given them this parable about three different kinds of ground that cinder that the seed has landed in as well as the good ground and this thorny ground he said is like those who hear the word but the worries of this life and get this the false appeal of wealth choke the word and he bears no fruit now I’m lucky enough to get to know some of you some of you more than others but but the truth is I know that there’s some of you that handle wealth incredibly well you use it to resource people you use it to give you use it to help make the world around you a better place and I’m so glad that there’s people that God can trust with that I have this deep suspicion that I may not be one of them maybe that’s why like maybe it’s just some kind of principle God has put in the universe if I buy a stock it will go down it’s like almost a guarantee so I should do this advice thing where I’ll tell you what I’m doing you do the opposite and you guys will have more money and life will probably be good I do not believe myself to be someone that suits wealth and yet the plea of this proverb seems to be God know me better than I know myself know what I need know what I’m likely to want and find the right place for me somewhere in that spectrum somewhere I don’t want to be too poor because I might end up stealing I might end up taking things that aren’t my somewhere I might be too rich and it’s just possible that in that richness I will forget you and forget that really everything that I have is dependent on you I think we can buy into this lie that we actually create our own wealth and we may participate in that but the truth is all of it comes from somewhere else and this proverb says help me to land in the middle maybe when Jesus says God give us today our daily bread what he’s saying is know me better than I know myself land me in the right spot for me the hard part is that that spot may be very different for you than it is for me it may be different for you than it is for somebody else and if comparison is your goal it may just not add up and yet this decision to trust God and say God land me in the right spot for me seems to be the thing that Jesus has for us and so I have another question assuming all of that is true if this is mainly about trusting God to land us in the right spot if this is about saying God don’t give me too much wealth don’t give me too little wealth well that’s about surrender that’s about giving it up and saying God you make a decision that seems healthy that seems like a good thing to take away from today but is there an action is this something we’re supposed to actively do surrender is almost like a passive doing it’s giving it up to God but but is there an action Jesus has talked about the kingdom coming he’s talked about participation and so is there a sort of some kind of connection to the kingdom is coming you get to play a part in it I get to play a part in it and is there something we’re supposed to do with our bread and here’s a clue here what does this mean for people who don’t have a need for bread give us today is the language that he chooses maybe the emphasis isn’t just on daily and bread but maybe it’s on us somewhere this language is plural for a reason it’s plural for a reason it matters that it’s about us this isn’t about your bread this isn’t about my bread this is about our bread this has a plurality to it that seems to matter I love what our food bank does we have all of these wonderful volunteers that they help feed about 60 families a week which just makes such a difference and you guys participate in that was so thankful for the way that you do that and as I wander around the church sometimes I just get bored so I just go for a wonder I notice this sign it says this please take what you can use remember others will be shopping after you please come and take for free take out of grace take because it’s there and you need it but don’t just take it for the sake of taking it make sure that you remember that there’s someone else who’s coming along who may have that need and think process what you’re doing with that bread think about how it might be shared and how it might resource more people than just you somewhere there’s this way we get to think about bread that at least asks the question is some of my bread needed by somebody else and maybe that matters this is the wonderful colorado river that begins in colorado as you might guess from the name of the river and you can raft down it you can do all these wonderful things all these beautiful sights to see and as it makes its way to down towards baja california I pronounced it baja in the first service and I was told that was wrong apparently my spanish pronunciation not so good but the gulf of mexico as it makes its way down there it hits this incredible site that is the hoover dam built in the 60s built out of necessity built out of the need for water in places that don’t have water built so that farmers could make sure they could grow enough crops built so that you and I could have our daily bread good nothing wrong with that all important we needed access to that water but look what happens as this river makes its journey down here through arizona down to baja california just to show you my accent’s working when it gets there this is what the river delta looks like it didn’t always look like that when there was no dam it teamed with life it teamed with fish it teamed with tourists it had so many different things happening there it was an ecosystem that was just full of life and now it isn’t when they asked one fisherman who had lived there in his 80s he said this it was a lot deeper than than now it was a lot deeper than than now was the dam created so that crops could be grown so important things could happen yes has that created a need that wasn’t there before for a whole other group of people yes and somewhere there there is a tension right somewhere there it’s not just as simple as knock down the damn let the water go again loads of people will go hungry but somewhere there is a whole system of how water is shared that actually matters somewhere when we think about our daily bread we don’t just get to ask what do I need God what can you provide for me we also get to ask what does another person need it isn’t just about me it isn’t just about you somewhere the language is about us it was a lot deeper than than now it was a lot deeper than now we had a lot more before you guys came along there is tension there for us to wrestle with somewhere it seems like when Jesus says to pray our daily bread it’s not just a petition for provision somewhere there the invite is this somewhere the invite is a participation in provision you get to participate and I get to participate to go back to that moses story that exodus story that we began with this is the next part of the story then moses said to them no one is to keep any of it until morning however some of them paid no attention to moses they kept part of it until morning but it was full of maggots and began to smell so moses was angry with them in this narrative there are a group of people who in the midst of God’s provision keep more than they need and the next morning when they go back to it is no longer good I’m not saying to you and I’m not saying to me you should give away everything you own you should only have enough for just tomorrow I’m saying to you do something harder wrestle with that tension ask God what that means for you I’m not saying cancel the 401k I’m not saying cancel or planning for retirement but I’m saying wrestle with that tension this is a passage from this prophetic book ezekiel it talks about a city called sodom which is somewhat famous for being destroyed by fire and brimstone and we think we know that story and then look how God unpacks that story through this prophet he says now this was the sin of your sister sodom this city that was destroyed she and her daughters were arrogant overfed and unconcerned they did not help the poor and needy whatever we think may be the root cause of sodom’s destruction what we’re told is this they were unconcerned and my plea for you and I is not I don’t want to tell you what to do I’m not even telling myself what to do but I’m pleading with us oh don’t be unconcerned daily bread is far more than just God give me what I need it is about provision for everybody always Jesus was constantly interested in what people had to eat just before feeding 5 000 people miraculously has this challenge for his first followers what landed he saw a large crowd he had compassion on them and healed their sick as evening approached the disciples came to him and said this is a remote place and it’s already getting late send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food send the crowds away so they can deal with their own needs and find their own daily bread they do not need to go away you give them something to eat Jesus in the midst of his earliest followers who have said we don’t have enough even for us says share it anyway share it anyway and then he does this miraculous provision thing which kind of like wow where did that come from and yet the the plea for the disciples is no don’t give up on sharing just because you feel you might have it not have enough for tomorrow find ways to share with those who need it the most give us today our daily bread is not just a prayer it’s a deeply challenging spiritual principle to live by give us our daily bread it’s not eschatological in my mind it’s probably physical but I just wonder if there’s another twist as well because this is what I love about Jesus Jesus has this incredible way of being able to take something obvious and then at different points in his conversation just twisted a little bit so maybe it has a spiritual meaning as well my question for us is what might he mean in terms of the spiritual sense of give us today our daily bread when fasting in the desert Jesus statement on bread was this man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God Jesus talks about bread as something that we can have and we can have our fill of but if that’s all we have we may find there’s a twist we may find that we find ourselves emptier than we realize I would suggest that somewhere in the west today we are we are wrestling with this dilemma I wonder if we at times are starving people that are never hungry I wonder if we’re starving people that are never hungry we’re never hungry in the physical sense but because of what we have because there is so much somewhere deep inside us there is this spiritual aspect that we are malnourished and really starving for something more and Jesus pushed to the crowds listening to him well oh I fed you but there’s more than just that thing in a whole discourse in john’s gospel in chapter six he makes this incredibly broad statement I am the bread of life I am the bread of life in actual fact as the crowds arrive he he looks at them and says I know why you’re here you’re here because I fed you you’re here because I gave you food and you didn’t have any and and that’s that’s fine but but know that that’s not everything that I long to do for you know that there’s something else that you need that is beyond that Jesus it seems is interested in their physical food but more than that perhaps he’s interested in their spiritual food really his words to them seem to be something like this don’t find yourselves full of physical food and find yourself starving spiritually and when asked to unpack what that meant he said I am the answer to that if you have any questions about whether Jesus thought he was the answer to that spiritual malnutrition he was like no no I am the thing I am the bread and this is the moment this struggle in john chapter six is the moment where it says and many of his disciples left him because they said who can who can handle that you’re calling yourself bread you’re calling yourself sustenance you’re saying you are the answer and he said yeah I am Jesus discourse on bread is strong he says that God longs to provide for our needs but his language is that somewhere God has provided for a much deeper need than that perhaps today our struggle is this we are so obsessed with the physical thing that we miss the spiritual thing and when we get to those lowest points the chances are that the physical thing just having enough to we just doesn’t cut it and give us what we need anymore I have a old testament professor when I was in seminary and in the middle of an old testament texts class he just dropped in this deeply personal emotional story I think he was in the book of job and he began to tell us about the moment where that story became real for him he said there was this moment where I lost everything my wife and I split up she left she took the house she took the kids and I was left with nothing lost my job because of the depression just just had nowhere left to go and he said I found myself in the middle of winter stood by a lake covered in ice and I had this moment where I was about to throw myself into this lake and just ended or to do what the people in the desert said like would be better if we died before let’s just end it here and he said in the midst of that in the the moment before leaping that moment just before I jumped he said I heard a voice of God and he said I’m not saying it was like some kind of internal thing I’m saying loud outside audible and in that moment God said to me this he said if you have nothing else am I enough for you if you have nothing else am I enough and he said he wrestled with this this question is he enough and he said in that moment he said I got down on my knees by the side of a lake and I said if I have nothing else you are enough you are enough Jesus the bread of life comes and stands in the midst of us on earth and says I have come to provide something far more than just bread in all of your deepest need and lack in all of your brokenness in your need for forgiveness I’ve come to give you that thing that you most need he’s called for his earliest followers he’s pray regularly and often God give us today a daily bread but don’t miss out on that other application Jesus came that you may have life and life to the full let’s pray

God in the midst of a discourse language on bread thank you that you cared for the physical needs of those who needed you thank you that you spoke to ordinary everyday people people concerned about whether the money they would earn today would feed their families tomorrow and you provided and said God cares and knows and provides

thank you for the way that you challenge us on how we share our bread may we not be people that eat bread belonging to other people that sydney bread while the one next to us has nothing to eat

may we not miss out on the spiritual bread that you talk about that you came and your death and resurrection meant the possibility of life if you are here and perhaps you’ve never been able to believe that Jesus matters maybe you like some of his teaching but the idea of him bringing life and being bred to survive on maybe that seems foreign we’re going to close our service by singing and that song is almost an invitation it’s an invitation to attach bread and breath to each other to talk about how God sustains with each breath that we take in and each breath that we let out

that God sustains in that he is the bread of life the thing that we need the thing that your soul needs

and in a time and a place where it’s so easy to believe that we survive on what we need physically Jesus pushed to us is is that really all you need

God for my friends myself may you speak to us meet us at the point of our need wherever that is amen