There is a moment you stand on the brink, or the brink stands on you. The inexorable draw pulls you in, like gravity, like…
“What do you mean, that’s not my father? Those are the hands that cared for me. Those are the arms that took me up and hugged me. Those are the lips that spoke to me; the eyes that searched for me; the chest on which I fell asleep, knowing I was safe in his care. Everything I have ever known of my father was through this body. Don’t tell me that’s not him.”
I am now learning to grieve. And my Dad isn’t here to teach me. C.S. Lewis noted after the death of his wife that he didn’t know grief felt so much like fear. The fear I have is that I won’t grieve – or that I won’t grieve well. I have had my tears, but what is grief supposed to look like? How will I know I’ve grieved?
Note from the Editor: Enjoy this...fascinating sermon from Rev. Omar Al-Rikabi. In a first for Wesleyan Accent, we recommend listening for ages 13 and…
In the crucifixion, Jesus is weak, collapsing, tired, miserable. In the eyes of his enemies, he did not die a hero, but a criminal. In the eyes of his friends, he did not die in victory but in shame and defeat.
From the seven depictions of Christ’s crucifixion story, to the mother of Jesus holding her infant son as she stretched out her arms to the weeping worshipper, the entire chapel was an invitation to see our sufferings – our very humanity – in light of the fact that neither Jesus nor Mary were exempt from suffering, pain, or death.
The early Methodists were known as people who died well. They had grace and assurance of God’s love and forgiveness for them, so they did not fear death. Furthermore, Wesley made it a point to share the stories of those who died and went on to glory.
Life, as it should be lived, is far more than a bucket list, more than another experience to cross off.
As a friend put it recently, people are uncomfortable with their lack of control; if Bad Thing A can happen to you, then maybe it could happen to me – so let’s find something you did that caused it. That way, I feel safe again.
If you’ve ever been caught by surprise mid-Creed by the inclusion of the mysterious affirmation, we encourage you to listen this sermon preached at FUMC Heath by Rev. Omar Rikabi.