In the Thin Places

In the Thin Places Is the Eucharist

John  16:12-15

Last week I celebrated the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Healing with an old friend who is severely ill; several days ago  as I was leaving a restaurant an older homeless man approached me for food, and so I took him back to the restaurant and sat with him as he ate, and in those moments of fellowship the Eucharist was celebrated; last night I gave two guys socks and the Eucharist was celebrated.

In all of these instances I am reminded of the thin places in our lives because they make the experience of God’s desire for each one of us, and our desire for God more possible, by capturing our attention and pulling us out of our ordinary routines and concerns.  In these moments I am reminded that ultimately all we have is God, and nothing else matters.

Last Friday night I received my Doctor of Ministry Degree from Knox Theological Seminary, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida–one of the top Evangelical seminaries in the country.

One of its top benefactors was Dr. James Kennedy. When I was a young whore on the streets of Los Angles, kicked out of my denomination, shunned by my old friends for being queer, I read one of his books, wrote him a letter–he responded with so much love, and compassion, and continued to respond through the years from my being on the streets as a whore and than  back to the streets as a priest. In the thin places he showed me love and grace. In the thin places  we celebrated the Eucharist together, for he broke bread with me in my pain.  In these two years at Knox in the thin places I have celebrated the Eucharist. I have broken bread in fellowship and God has come near. Knox Theological Seminary has met me in the thin places.

Today in Texas Juan Castillo and in Alabama Thomas  Arthur are scheduled to be executed. Let us pray for them and break bread with them in our prayers, let us break bread with their victims, and walk in the thin places of forgiveness and mercy.

One of my professors, Dr. Jonothan Linebaugh, tells us that through justification by faith we come to God as forgiven sinners.  We are on the road to salvation, and that when we come to the final judgment our Great Therapist  will gather us together and hash out everything and bring us into fellowship with the One God. As Clement of Alexander tells us “There is one River, but many streams,” in in that one River we will meet.

I have come home in these years, and have found my ministry renewed. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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Friday, 12 Noon: Vigil Against Death Penalty–Earl Warren Office Building, 350 McAllister Street.

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Fr. C. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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