Requiem for Deie-Second Sunday in Lent

This was the hardest sermon to write.

Who Run the World?

Grace and peace to you,
My sisters and brothers in Christ,
No matter what threats
Or emptiness surrounds you,
Along this pathway of life,
Know that our help,
And Grace,
And Mercy
And Peace
And Love
,
Come from the One 
Who will never leave us,
Jesus Christ,
Our Savior and Lord
Amen.
(pause)
Confessional time-
This has been 
By far,
One of the hardest weeks of my life,
In my Pastoral journey
Not because,
That our daily walk
And journey
Is so disconcerting
That collectively
Our communal bond 
With one another in Christ Jesus
In whom Christ has called us to be in relationship with
Is tested,
Is stretched 
And is broken
In this wilderness,
Especially when we are continuously tempted
By everything as a source for healing and strength
Instead of what is obviously before us,
Freely given
From God,
This meal,
The Bread and Wine,
The Body and Blood
Of our Lord Jesus Christ
(pause)
But because,
I am once again
On a journey
That many of you have intimately traversed
And that I have traveled along aside you
And my heart
And soul
Are so unwilling,
This,
This journey this week,
Seems as if it is shrouded in 
An alternative reality.
This Psalm,
Had me questioning
The Creator God,
In my sorrow,
Because although the Psalmist says 
I lift up my eyes to the hills — 
 from where will my help come
And because I am a child of the Creator,
My soul indeed does sing back,
My help comes from the Lord,
 who made heaven and earth
Because, we
As people of faith know,
Regardless, 
When we encounter those moments 
Where we forget whose we are
Whose we belong to
Who is lifting us,
Cradling us
God Remembers Us,
And what we mean,
To the Creator God!
(pause)
I have been used to,
Getting messages
Or seeing facebook posts
From my Sista in Christ,
Deirdre
But Sunday evening,
The message that we all received,
Was chilling
And disturbing 
Deie had collapsed,
Had been rushed to the hospital
And was now in ICU.
Monday I began this journey,
Taking up residence at Franciscan St. James in Olympia Fields
To see her,
To lift up her spirits
To remain positive
So our Deie,
Would come back to us.
She was heavily sedated,
So that the team of doctors,
Specialists
Nurses
Could care for her along this journey,
And steer her, back to us.
My prayer to the Creator,
Was for healing and recovery
I read aloud Psalm 121,
As a song of hope and of protection.
(pause)
Psalm 121
Is an ancient song for travelers,
As they would go out walking
Across fields
Or even deserts,
Winding roads
Or even sailing
Through rivers
And along break taking seas.
There was no Expedia,
No Southwest Airlines
No Enterprise Rent A Car,
And so their ancient travels,
Were full of all things perilous
And uncertain.
Roads were filled with those,
Who would be waiting
To waylay travelers for their goods
Water,
Seen as a paradox
Of life giving,
Awashing us in remembering that 
We are loved
Also,
Was unpredictable,
Because the oceans could rise,
Knocking those off of their journey
(pause)
Hospitals,
In a sense too,
Are a paradox
Because it is a place,
Life giving
Places where people witness new life
A renewal of life
And yet, 
Sometimes,
Unyielding
And instead,
Only finds us looking for answers
And heightens our anxiety
And heaps upon us many burdens
Because in our limited human understanding of the body,
We encounter moments,
Where we cannot get past
I lift up my eyes to the hills — 
 from where will my help come?
(pause)
“Rabbi, 
we know that you are a teacher 
who has come from God; 
for no one can do these signs t
hat you do apart 
from the presence of God.”
(pause)
Here,
There is no question for Nicodemus
Of where help throughout this life,
Comes from
Traveling to Jesus Christ,
In the darkness of night
Nighttime
When we are also on our own journeys
Finding ourselves awake,
Fretting
Lamenting
Questioning
Confronting our fears,
Our worries,
Trying to allow our weary spirit
To submit
To the will of the Creator God,
Even when we ultimately know,
It alters the course,
That we have plotted 
For our life’s journey.
Are we willing,
Then
To live out our faith?
To not only speak truth
But to actually do truth?
When we have gone on that perilous journey,
And when we have reached our destination,
We are able to sing a song,
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
 he will keep your life.
We are able to proclaim
To those who are wandering 
In this life’s journey,
That truly,
God will never forsake us,
Never abandon us.
(pause)
But,
It has been hard to live this out,
As I sat by Deie’s hospital bed
One afternoon by myself
And reading John 3:16,
So well known,
Supposed to be the ultimate expression
Of the True Christian-
For God so loved the world 
that he gave his only Son, 
so that everyone who believes in him 
may not perish
And yet,
Faced with the news
Of multi organ failure
Faced with the news
Of minimal brain activity
Dear God,
I screamed
Your child
Deirde
A Woman of God,
Who LIVED OUT her Faith
And her calling
LOVED YOU SO MUCH
SO WHY ARE YOU ALLOWING HER TO PERISH???

(pause)
Suddenly,
I look to the hills,
Where does my help come
Was an accusation
To God
This,
This is not how my journey should evolve into now
This
HURT.
And as I was present in that hospital room,
Both as her friend
But also as Clergy,
I felt hopeless
Powerless
Because the help that people were praying for
The miracles that people repeatedly all over Facebook were asking for
Was not coming.
Where indeed was the help,
Where was the Good News?
(pause)
And yet,
The Gospel of John reminds us,
That because God loves US
Jesus Christ came,
To also love us
To experience our lives
Our joys
Our sorrows
Our fears
Our failings
Our triumphs 
And our challenges

And Jesus Christ,
Loves US
To strength that bond,
Because we too,
Are beloved of God,
And so Jesus gave Himself
So that we would have hope,
We would have peace,
And we would have LIFE!
(pause)
As we are going along this Lenten journey,
We must be mindful
That we are all travelers
Together
As the Body of Christ.

Share with one another,
Whether its through passing the peace,
Or in the fellowship hour,
Or even in Bible Study,
What one thing,
That you need prayer for.
I have shared with you,
I have been vulnerable in this moment
To share that my Prayer is answered
And has changed since Monday,
That the Creator opens wide the Veil,
And gives Deie,
Her beautiful cloak
Of Ancestorhood.
Thanks Be to God.

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