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Message from Fr. Michael
In The Episcopal Church, we strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person.
Listen to sermons from the past year by selecting a title.
Our 8:30 AM service at Holy Spirit
has been suspended.
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Frederick Buechner (pronounced BEEK-ner) is an American writer and theologian. His works, along with those of Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton and Richard Rohr, continue to serve as an important source of inspiration to me and have been particularly comforting to me during this difficult year.
The Frederick Buechner Center issues a daily quote or meditation by email to those who subscribe. I read these, along with daily meditations issued by Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation every morning as part of my discipline of prayer and reflection.
Earlier this week the Buechner Center republished a short meditation titled Tears, originally included in Buechner’s books Whistling in the Dark and Beyond Words. I don’t yet fully understand why, but this one daily mediation has continued to speak profoundly to me all week, almost hauntingly, so I share it with you.
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 a game. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention.
They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go to next.
I’m a crier. I always have been. So are my mother and father. In fact, my father often says, “we come from a long line of criers in this family”. I’ve been blessed to be raised by parents and in environments that never caused me to feel embarrassment or shame for shedding tears. For that reason, I often wonder why our society seems to associate tears with weakness? After all, what many celebrate as the shortest verse in the Bible, at least the King James version, is found in John 35:11, “Jesus wept”.
In just the first 18 days of this month, I’ve wept tears of joy and sadness for our country, Church, family, friends and my own journey in this world. And I know, that during the coming Holiday Season and New Year, more tears will flow. But I sense Buechner is on to something. Tears, especially unexpected tears, are sacraments. Outward and visible signs, of the inward and spiritual grace of God speaking to me about where I’ve come from, summoning me to where I need go next.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…. (1 Peter 1:3)
Jesus wept, so why shouldn’t I? I’m in good company. And the tears are proof, that I’m never alone.