God at Work: God Saves

A postcard from the 5th Sunday after Pentecost 6/27/21

Salvation out of the depths

Grief is a thin place. It is an uncomfortable place that in our modern age we are quick to get through. But I think grief is something not to be rushed. In our grief we experience the limits of human power and control, and there we can perhaps feel most strongly the saving grace of God.

Barbara Brown Taylor writes, in her book Learning to Walk in the Darkness, “…new life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.” She continues, “I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.”

David’s lament over the death of Jonathan and Saul [2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27] shows us the complexity of grief and the power of naming what has been lost. It is only after fasting, tearing his clothes, and singing his lament that David is able to turn to God by name and ask where he goes from there.

We are all ready to be done with the pandemic and get back to “normal” life. But before we rush onto the next thing, have we grieved? Have we met God in our weakness? Have we named what has been lost so that we are ready to ask what’s next?

This was my last Sunday with the good folks of St. Peter’s in Talladega before they welcome their new clergy person. This is such a joyful place, and it was a treat to be with them for a few Sundays this spring/summer.

A sermon from St. Peter’s in Talladega:

“And even here, in the depths of our grief, when we cannot even call God by name, God is present and saves us. And it is in these moments of darkness, if we don’t rush through that we can learn things and can feel God’s presence and salvation in a different way.”

Audio only available here

Coming next

  • July 4 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke / “God Unites”
  • July 11 – Messiah, Heflin / “The Family” Eph.1:3-14
  • July 18 – Off the road / “Aliens Brought Near” Eph. 2:11-22
  • July 25 – Off the road / “God’s Powerful Love” Eph. 3:14-21

ICYMI: Click here for last week’s postcard

Published by akhudlow

I am a priest in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama. I am a church nerd, printmaker, storyteller, and blogger.

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