From the Pastor November and December 2017

Soon after my friend Chad found out that his cancer had returned, and he only had weeks to live, he and I spoke on the phone. I was at the Credo conference in southern Indiana, it was a Sunday morning, the sun was out after several days of rain, the first round of leaves had fallen from the trees. Chad wanted to know what we all want to know when we are staring down our mortality: what comes next?


He was hoping that I had some special insight (“I thought maybe they taught you the secret handshake in seminary,” he said, his humor intact right up to the end), and I really wish I did. The truth is, I don’t know any more than anyone else does, and I told him as much. What I told him, and this is true, is that I have faith in the mystery of God.


We know from science that nothing is created or destroyed, matter changes from one state to another and energy is released in the process. Radical transformation. We come from stardust, and to stardust we will we turn.


We believe that in God we live, and move, and have our being, and that when we die, we die to the Lord. Again, radical transformation. We come from God, and we go back to God.


That second transformation, what we call dying to the Lord, is a mystery beyond our understanding, but we can find comfort in faith. It is faith that fills in the gaps of our human knowledge.


A trust fall is when you close your eyes, stand with your back to a person, keep your body straight, and fall backward, not seeing, trusting that the person behind you will catch you. When we die, there is a moment when we have to let go of this way of being and fall back in faith, not seeing what we are falling into, but trusting that we are falling to God, an eternal mystery, who will catch us and hold us forever.





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