Death


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 1

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 4

 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, […]


Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me – The New York Times

Some Christians believe God rewards the faithful. So why did I get Stage 4 cancer? A powerful piece by Kate Bowler of Duke Divinity. She has literally written the book on the prosperity gospel and was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She notes the irony of her having written a book about the gospel of “being #blessed” and then being struck down with a likely death sentence. The most I can say about why I […]


Writing Through Death – David Bowie’s Blackstar and Lazarus

Today, January 11, 2016, we woke to news that David Bowie had died. He had been battling with cancer for the last 18 months. I was a fan from the 80’s. His under appreciated album “Tonight” was highly appreciated by this brooding 18 year old. I guess I wasn’t a great fan though, because although I knew he had a new album coming out (debuted two days ago on his 69th birthday), I did not know anything […]