Death

49 posts

The Utter Unacceptability of Death

My SEC colleague from Vanderbilt this week graciously gave me the gift of a slim volume by a former professor of his. The book is A Boy Thirteen: Reflections on Death (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1975), by Jerry A. Irish. Their 13 year old son Lee died of meningitis in 1973, the second of their three sons to die within 4 years. The younger son had been born with a serious heart defect and died before […]

Beautiful and Terrible Things Book Contract

I am very pleased and proud to announce that I have signed a contract with Westminster John Knox Press to publish Beautiful and Terrible Things! The publication date is Fall 2020. I am so thankful for everyone who has and continues to engage with me on matters relating to the biblical theology of suffering and grace. This book is intended for all audiences and your feedback, pushback, and questions are integral to the refining and […]

Why did the Son of God Suffer?

“The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His.” George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons. First Series. As cited in CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, (New York: Macmillan, 1947), p. vi. Cited by CS Lewis in the frontispiece of The Problem of Pain. I am not sure what I make of the statement. Humanity had already been suffering for millennia by the time Jesus came, so is GM saying that by coming Jesus took […]

To every thing there is a season.

“Where we find grace to help in time of need.”

Proper 23 (28) (October 14, 2018) First reading and Psalm Job 23:1-9, 16-17 Psalm 22:1-15 Second reading Hebrews 4:12-16 Gospel Mark 10:17-31 “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” I love comedy. Not sit-coms like Friends or Brooklyn 99, I enjoy those very much, but what I really love are stand-up comics, the British panel quiz shows, and topical humor like NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. The latter is celebrating their […]

Tears – Buechner

“YOU NEVER KNOW what may cause tears. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music, or a face you’ve never seen before. A pair of somebody’s old shoes can do it. Almost any movie made before the great sadness that came over the world after the Second World War, a horse cantering across a meadow, the high-school basketball team running out onto the gym floor at the start of […]

Christmas Mourn

It is oddly gratifying and encouraging that we live in perhaps a “golden” time for those who grieve and mourn. It is commonplace this time of year, in addition to the joyous posts of children on Santa’s lap and endless photos of cookies, to read posts by and about those who struggle to make it through this season, especially those of us who mourn the loss of a loved one. This is, I think, a […]

The Souls of the Righteous

In mid-February 2017 we had a funeral for a beloved member of the parish. He had lived a long, full life and his family surrounded him at his departing and gathered for the service. The first reading was this beautiful passage from The Book of Wisdom (in the Apocrypha).  Wis. 3:1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. 2 In the eyes of the foolish they seemed […]

Remembering our Dead

Elizabeth’s essay Día De Muertos: Eat, Speak, And Remember posted this weekend. It is a wonderful reflection on the importance of remembering those who have died. As some Christians create these atrocious “hell houses” and most Americans get a bit silly with their costumes, this season can also be a gracious reminder that we are never fully separated from our loved ones who have gone before us. The act of remembering is a sacred rite and […]

“Endure everything with patience”

Sermon for Sunday, 10 July 2016. St. Paul’s in Philipsburg, PA.     Proper 10, Eighth Sunday after Pentecost Deuteronomy 30:9-14 and Psalm 25:1-10  •  Colossians 1:1-14  •  Luke 10:25-37 Endure everything with patience Colossians 1:11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance […]

Losing faith

 The Collect: Second Sunday of Easter, Rite Two Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. John 20:29 Jesus said to him, […]