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We have Already Forgotten: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

April 01, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here; day 4 here; day 5 here; day 6 here; day 7 here; day 8 here.

It's only been one day. And we have already forgotten.

We ate our feasts and found our eggs and wore our best pastels. But now there only remains the Easter candy we bought on sale and cold ham in the refrigerator. We've hung up our dresses and tucked our Bibles away again. We'll wear them each again, we're sure. Just when is still unknown.

We've forgotten.

And that reality makes Your works all the more shattering: "You are the light of the World."

Us?

Yes. Us.

This pitiful people, this sinful bunch of forgetful hearts and unfaithful hands. You said we were likened to a city on a hill. A city - great and immoveable, full of life and motion, giving light to the surrounding hills in the deadness of night. You say we cannot be hidden.

You say "cannot" where we say "inevitable" because we see our depravity and You see Your grace.

This, too, we have forgotten.

So be our Light, God of all. Illuminate the darkened crevices of our city; give light to every inner cavity we can name, and especially those we cannot.

Enlighten us in Your holy way and let us remember the light-life of our resurrection God in us.

We pray in the name of the Easter God.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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Alive Indeed: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 31, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here; day 4 here; day 5 here; day 6 here; day 7 here.

Christ has risen!

Indeed, we cry routinely enough. Christ has risen indeed.

On this cold, pale blue morning we recite our affectionate gratitude

for Your plans beyond our expectations

for Your life beyond the grave

for Your promises beyond our hope.

The morning scene is serene enough to sentimentalize us, and for even this we are grateful.

But in the silence of this Easter morning, we hear the call of the resurrection:

the resurrection which calls to us from behind that illuminating horizon,

the resurrection which wearies our easy way of remember and startles with new anticipation,

the resurrection which grants us the holy fortitude to sing

Soon and very soon...

Yes, Your miracle life beyond the cave of death lends us the potent reminder this morning that we, too, await resurrection:

the resurrection which will call us to the sky,

the resurrection into rest for our weary souls,

the resurrection which will grant us the ending of the tune, retiring the language of "soon" and replacing it with the vernacular of the heavenlies.

Soon. Oh that it would be very soon.

That You would rend the heavens! That You would come down!

We have yet to see an act like that.

But we have heard tales of one.

And that Friday-Sunday act gives us hope.

Come and be Eastered among us until we are raised with You.

Until then, we will watch the horizon.

And we will hope better this time.

Indeed.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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Alive Indeed: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 31, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here; day 4 here; day 5 here; day 6 here; day 7 here.

Christ has risen!

Indeed, we cry routinely enough. Christ has risen indeed.

On this cold, pale blue morning we recite our affectionate gratitude

for Your plans beyond our expectations

for Your life beyond the grave

for Your promises beyond our hope.

The morning scene is serene enough to sentimentalize us, and for even this we are grateful.

But in the silence of this Easter morning, we hear the call of the resurrection:

the resurrection which calls to us from behind that illuminating horizon,

the resurrection which wearies our easy way of remember and startles with new anticipation,

the resurrection which grants us the holy fortitude to sing

Soon and very soon...

Yes, Your miracle life beyond the cave of death lends us the potent reminder this morning that we, too, await resurrection:

the resurrection which will call us to the sky,

the resurrection into rest for our weary souls,

the resurrection which will grant us the ending of the tune, retiring the language of "soon" and replacing it with the vernacular of the heavenlies.

Soon. Oh that it would be very soon.

That You would rend the heavens! That You would come down!

We have yet to see an act like that.

But we have heard tales of one.

And that Friday-Sunday act gives us hope.

Come and be Eastered among us until we are raised with You.

Until then, we will watch the horizon.

And we will hope better this time.

Indeed.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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To Finish the Phrase: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 30, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here; day 4 here; day 5 here; day 6 here.

The words press off our lips with ready easy:

"I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontus Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell…"

And here, for now at least, we must cease our repetition. For this is the end of the story for a while. For now, we must sit in the darkness of these dying days.

and are they ever dark…

Here in the dark we sense the utter despair of that space outside the courts, the waiting and longing of those listening for the verdict, the evil of false witnesses, the shame of your naked beating. We, in these dark days, sense the suffering of that road; the trees You spoke into existence we reduced to lumber and forced You to carry it, we nailed You to it and mocked You for not employing that life-speaking voice. We looked at You and couldn't, so we turned our eyes and kept on mocking. Because we couldn't bear the sight of such a bloody lamb.

Yes, it is dark here.

And we confess, we need to finish the liturgy! We must complete the statement, our souls ache for the phrases that properly follow!

But for now, we know there is no newness yet. No newness yet.

And out of this darkness we implore You to be Your sentence-finishing self. To complete history with newness and life and light. Do Your Friday-Sunday act again. And in doing so, Easter us as well.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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Good Friday: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 29, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here; day 4 here; day 5 here.

Lord,
Oh, Lord.
Today we pause to memorialize Your divine dying and, with it, our death-loving selves.

You came to us, Jesus, the God-Man of heaven to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the loosening of bonds to those in chains and the acceptable day of the Lord. And we could not receive You in such a holy manner. We could not have You come in goodness and truth and generous love. It was too much for our death-loving selves, our dying world, our darkness-ridden lives to take You in as You are.

So we marred Your countenance, shamed Your body, in a self-natured attempted to beat heaven out of You and condemn You to a small plot of earth. You were just being Yourself. And we were just being ours.

Today, Abba, we acknowledge that this is not our first action of insisting on evil rather than Your good.

Remember the days of Eden? The blissful walks through the garden, pushing back abundant foliage to keep cantor with Your Divine Self walking along side. But the days ended millennia too soon, as one edible lie was taken and given. At the tree of Good and Evil, we insisted on evil. And we are still unrecovered.

Our fallenness carried us to the patriarchs and prophets; to the days of refusing ears and stoned hearts. You called us to listened to Isaiah and we threw him in a cistern, hating the offer of our salvation. You called Jonah to go to Nineveh, and we along with him, hated the idea of their salvation. We have always insisted on us, ours, mine. We have always insisted on taking, hiding, stealing, refusing. We have always insisted on evil.

And even at Your birth, where heaven crashed with earth in Your little baby body, lying in a feeding trough on some molding hay, we were not waiting, welcoming, worshiping You. We had to be beckoned off the fields, out of our homes, away from our more important tasks to Your manger side. You had to call us from distant lands through our cosmic watching to bring You petty gifts that were already Yours. And that was only a few of us. We are mostly Herod; scheming, deceiving, unbelieving. We hated the idea of Your kingdom unseen, and even more the reality of being part of it. We insisted on Evil.

At Your cross is no acceptation. The trees Your formed, we forced You to carry. We nailed You by Your wrists and feet because Deity must be kept in place. Your goodness illuminated our darkness far too much, and You said Yourself that we love it so. So this cross should be no surprise to You. Because we have always insisted on Evil.

And at this day of Your death, I remember we continue in our ways. Wouldn't it be nice to say that we're different today? That we, too, have been Eastered?

We insist on our leisure at the cost of the poor, on our opulence at the expense of the underpaid. We insist on keeping our world happy and prosperous and comfortable. And, in our grand act of neglectfulness, the children continue to be trafficked, the poor continue to be oppressed, the homeless continue on the streets, the AIDS-wracked mothers continue to die.

So heal us, dying Jesus. Heal us with the holiness we rejected. Light us with Yourself. Insist on our healing, on our redemption, on our Resurrection. Insist this Friday be Good. Because we're an insisting people, and we have yet to insist on You.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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Or Did We Get it Wrong: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 28, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here; day 4 here.

We have been the giving up ones, this Lenten season.

We give up delicacies or social networks or, for the superiorly spiritual, coffee. We name ourselves and our positions by these elements of our giving. And we give toward You in glad obedience.

Yet, underneath all these layers of isolation, we find that our spirituality retains its fatness. Our prayer life is sluggish and apathetic, and our hearts corpulent.

And we don't understand, because we gave up so much. We have been so obedient.

Or did we get it wrong?

We were not the giving up ones? Were we not the ones of whom obedience is spoken?

Did we get it wrong?
Or did You?

We did not expect that, Suffering One. That Self-giving up act You did. That thing of obedience of which we are the benefactors.

We have not lived into our rightly-named selves of mirrored obedience. No, this identity is what we have, indeed, given up.

So would You purge us of these self-granting ways? Starve from us the ways in which we give to ourselves names from which we have been saved. Reorient us to Your Self-giving Gospel.

Make us lean and thin and quiet.

And grant us the courage to be self-giving back towards You. This time, in reflecting obedience.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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Wake Us: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 27, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here.

It's 6:04 a.m. The sun is just now up. The sky is just now lit.

But our streets have been busy for hours. Yes, the lights never really wet out.

We pride ourselves here:

We are innovative,

Productive,

Prosperous.

We need not sleep, so long as there is work to be done. Our offices will suffice and satisfy and when the day comes to an end, we'll carry all our worries into our beds like a complex lover, and take a little Ambien to pacify her for the night.

At 6:04 a.m. it'll start again.

But we are a people of heavy eyes.

If You were to ask us to wait for You, we could not.

If You were to request we pray with you, we would not.

If You were to call us away to the Garden alone, we would not understand the nature of Your summons and we would insist on more comfortable turf.

As You requested the cup be taken from You, we didn't both rouse ourselves to the task.

Our spirits are willing. Sometimes.

Our bodies are weak. Decidedly.

Wake us up!

Stir within the cavities of our beings a craving for more than this temporal turf. Rouse us from the sedated land of complacency and alert our hearts to Your beckoning request to join You in Your suffering.

We see now Your betrayers are at hand.

We see now they are us.

Wake us!

You, the startling God.

You, the Suffering God.

You, the Grieving God.

You, the Easter God.

You.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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You and Then Us: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 26, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here.

You came to us, in all Your glory. And we were confused because You were riding a donkey.

You said You would bring us peace. And we were confused because You didn't start a war.

You joined us to Your side in partnership and love. And we were confused that You would ask us to stay awake to pray in the middle of the night.

You said You were a revolutionary. And we were confused when You told us to stop cutting off ears.

You committed no sin. And we were confused when You remained silent to Your accusers.

You assured us all of heaven was Yours. And we were confused why You did not employ those angels.

You said all authority was given You. And we were confused You did not come down as we beckoned.

You promised us You would rise again. And we went back to fishing.

You, and then us.

You in all Your action.

Us in our faulty responses.

We are not a people of clear seeing, Good Master. We need Your Light because we cannot see. We need Your voice because we cannot hear. We need You because we cannot understand.

And so we ask…

In the Name of the Ever-Acting One we pray, even Jesus.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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Always You: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 25, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here.

We think ourselves radical, the way we wait for You.

We give up things, and, well, it's hard. We stir ourselves up to hunger for You by provoking the cravings of our stomachs and tongues. We choose to cause ourselves to want You again. To miss You even as we miss our desserts.

This Lenten season is getting long, You know.

And then, in a shattering moment of radical self-awareness, we realize we are not the radical ones. We look around and see that we all, the whole lot of us, are in the same place… stirring up, provoking, choosing. We cannot all be radical, and we give ourselves away.

And then we notice You.

You in Your stirring way, mixing within our beings the potency only found by combining Your Spirit with Your people.

You in Your provoking way, inching us toward a greater holiness as You lay Your holy body on crossed beams of wood.

You in Your choosing way, selecting us for Yourself and not selecting some, without deference to how uncomfortable it makes us.

Yes, You are the radical One. Even in this Lenten season, where we pride ourselves on piety, we notice it is You again.

You. Always You.

Always You.

This Lenten season is getting long, You know.

Yes. You do.

Come, Lord Jesus. Be Easter among us.

Come.

And Easter us again in You.

Always You.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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A Prayer for the Lenten Days: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 24, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here.

Brutal is this world we call "home".

And that word cannot be used with ease - brutality marks this mankind race; indeed we left our mark on You.

You in Your forbearance, send Your Beloved Son. You, in Your affection, send us a lamb to slaughter. You, in Your peace-making way, gave us the God-Man to be our brutal selves with.

And we were.

Our treatment of the Son of God comes as no surprise. Rather, what strikes us as peculiar is the seemingly passive way He came. It seems to us strange that He would suffer our brutality with quietness, in silence.

Yes, Your silent way is bizarre to us…

…and sacred.

So as we enter these Lenten days would You join us in Your suffering - at least in ways we are able. We confess we mean to go on a diet and equate it with Your suffering sacrifice. And for this, too, we need newness.

We acknowledge, as it was with Your midnight Son, that "newness" is only an articulation appropriate after the suffering verbs.

So, as we attempt some semblance of suffering, would You help us with the silent nature. Remember well we are brutal. And we know little of pure passivity.

As we look down the long dark channel of the coming days, grant us tears under the reality that there is no newness yet.

No newness yet.

And for that reason, give us the courage to encounter those suffering verbs.

We pray in the name of the Passive Lamb who won our Peace,

Even Jesus.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

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