Hard Questions, Harder Answers

Hard Questions, Harder Answers

“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord.”

Last night I pronounced these words as I held the hands of a dying young man at the time of his death:

“There is nothing in death or life,

in the world, as it is or the world as it shall be,

nothing in all creation can separate us from your love.

We commend him  into your loving care.

Enfold him in the arms of your mercy.

Bless him in his dying wish and in his rising again in you.
Bless those whose hearts are filled with sadness,

that they too may know the hope of the resurrection;

for the sake of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Go forth Sean  on your journey from this world,

in the love of God the Father who created you,

in the mercy of Jesus the Redeemer who suffered for you,

in the power of the Holy Spirit who keeps you in life eternal.

May you dwell this day in peace,

and rest in the presence of God. Amen.

    Todays reading speaks to us in this time of death that surrounds us. We ask or at least I do a lot, “Where is God in all this?”

    There is no simple or easy answer. It is one of the mysteries of the being a human being. Few people were tested as severely as Jesus. Yet we know from the his life that suffering is not the last word.

    Our lectionary reading today Psalm 17:1-7 offers a response beyond our anger, our doubt, our fears: “Though you test my heart, searching it in the night/though you try me with fire/you shall find no malice in me” 

    It is a reminder of words from Marie Howe: “The wounded have to become the healers.”

    When faced with personal difficulties, when caught up in the political fight, when faced with illness and death, how will we choose to respond? With compassion toward ourselves and others? Will we see others as just broken human beings on the journey, and meet them half way? Will we seek the grace to say:”You will find no malice in me?

    And can we read the words of Henri Nouwen and pray:”You will find no malice in me?”:

A Death for Others
The great mystery is that all people who have lived with and in the Spirit of God participate through their deaths in the sending of the Spirit. God’s love continues to be sent to us, and Jesus’ death continues to bear fruit through all whose death is like his death, a death for others.

This is the mystery of Jesus’ death and of the deaths of all who lived in his Spirit. Their lives yield fruit far beyond the limits of their short and often very localized existence.
May the Lord be with you as we remember
“Life is short and we have never to much time for gladdening the heart of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Father River Damien Sims, D.Min.,D.S.T.

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