On July 4th we celebrate the 242nd Birthday of America. Whatever your plans are for that day or this week, I pray for you and yours safety and peace.
Trying to connect the lectionary scriptures for this Sunday with the birth of America is difficult. After all, the assigned Hebrew Scriptures are David’s Eulogy of King Saul and his lamenting the death of his beloved, Jonathan. The assigned gospel shares the lengthy illness of a woman with leukemia. In both situations grief is a major theme. So, neither seem to be good July 4th sermon material.
Therefore, I will be doing a Special Note from Pastor JR for July 4th and my sermon this Sunday will be “Glorious Freedom: Getting Through Grief.”
The list would be too lengthy to name all those I’m personally aware of at Covenant and in our community experiencing either, the grief of the death of a loved one or the loss of their own health. Getting through grief may be one of the hardest things we do as human beings.
Late Monday evening I received a request to eulogize on Tuesday afternoon, a person for whom I had the honor of marrying him and his partner on their 35th anniversary just 3 years ago. On Wednesday morning, a man requested I eulogize his partner of 29 years on Friday afternoon. It has been quite a week dealing with so much grief all around me.
I found some much needed hope and inspiration from another Lectionary assigned text for this week; “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in God!” (Lamentations 3:22-24, NRSV)
Join us for worship at Covenant this Sunday as my sermon will be “Glorious Freedom: Getting Through Grief” based on II Samuel 1:1, 17-18a, 22-25.