Last Sunday I preached my final sermon as Second Church’s seminarian (where I have served on staff for the past two years). The sermon closed with this verse by Wendell Berry, excerpted from his Sabbath poetry collection. It is worth thinking about how our daily rituals become sacramental, and can change us.
How little I know in my widest
waking, held here by the making
of days, days of works, days,
fewer, of rest, suffering myself
to be made by days that cannot
be helped or changed or stopped,
and so I wait to be changed
by work, by rest, by what
I know into what I know not.
The link to watch the full sermon (as a video) is here. It was a reflection regarding the many stories we carry and learn as a community. I paired the famous account of “doubting Thomas” with the faith journey and marathon races of Dr. William Tan, our family’s long-time Boston Marathon race partner (2002-2008).
We considered the value of doubt and questions as forms of curiosity and honesty; they open pathways to deeper engagement and belief with Love (in the case of a UCC congregation, this is Christ and Spirit and Godself). We thought about Love that moves through all barriers to reach us, then invites us to reach out, ask, and believe. We were grateful for the hope of a peace breathed into us. We mused on the image that we are met and recognized as beloved creations, in our brokenness and our beauty, when Love comes to us bearing the marks of a human life that included suffering and death, revealing vulnerability, reminding us that we are shaped in the image of that same vulnerability and Love. And that we may be healed or reconciled, not necessarily through miracles (although that would be nice, and it doesn’t hurt to ask for it) but by transformations that restore us to relationship to self, other people and communities, creation and Godself.