October 17, 2018

Funeral Sermon: Our Strong Shepherd

Funeral Sermon Our Strong Shepherd Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing. You ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth his name, from age to age the same; and he must […]

Another Look: Make the Way by Walking

Make the Way by Walking My friend, I have good news for you: you don’t have to “do grief right.” In our culture, we expect people to follow a certain path in the wake of a loss. I’m here to tell you: there is no defined path. Just be yourself, keep walking, and you will […]

Another Look: Shirley

One of our team members said that Shirley “died of loneliness.” She had family, and whenever I met them they seemed to be attentive to her. I never heard her speak a word against them. But none of them were able to care for her in her final season of life. When Shirley first came […]

Another Look: Marge’s Funeral Service

Note: Last week, I re-posted the story of “Joe and Marge.” This post, also from 2012, is the follow-up to that piece. • • • I am glad I had the opportunity to meet many of you today. I am also glad i got to watch the video with pictures of Marge from her life […]

Another Look: Joe and Marge

First posted in 2012 Marge died today. A petite, pretty octogenarian, she had been wandering in the world of Alzheimer dementia for many years. I’ve known her for a few of those years, at least I’ve known the lady who rarely sat still, who moved continually from one place to another, looking out the windows, […]

Another Look: Mark

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? • James 2:5, NRSV • • • We stood and sat on a quiet green spot at the cemetery under sunny blue […]

When the child falls in the well… — On being too biblical

I love the Bible. I have come to have little patience with biblicism. The most “biblical” Jews in Jesus’ day were the Pharisees. We commonly criticize them for their hypocrisy, for exalting human traditions over God’s Word, or for adding a multitude of rules in their attempt to interpret scripture for religious practice. I think […]

Live into the “What” not the “Why”

When someone is drowning, the only thing worse than failing to throw them a life preserver is handing them a reason. • Kate Bowler • • • Live into the “What” not the “Why” Religious people (me, for example) are really good at focusing on the “whys” of life. Pastors and theologians, in particular, make […]

Susan’s Story: Alone, with No One to Comfort

Note from CM: Every once in a while, I receive an email or some other communication from a reader that hits home hard. Susan took the time to write me the other day just to tell her story and express her thanks — she had no idea how what she said blew me away. And […]

A Breviary on Grief and Mourning

A Breviary on Grief and Mourning What we grieve, we must mourn. Grief is one’s complex inner response to loss. Mourning consists of the outward expressions by which we acknowledge our grief and work through it until it becomes more and more integrated into our lives. In addition, in the aftermath of loss we need […]