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"And Remember When We..."

May 10, 2018

A few weeks ago I attended my fiftieth college reunion.  How did all those years pass by so quickly?!

It was fun to see what is new and exciting at my alma mater.  But the most fun was seeing classmates and renewing ties that might have frayed over the years, but had enough tensile strength to be renewed with just a bit of effort.  Sharing memories of those formative years, we talked about civil rights marches, feminist stirrings, the agony of the draft and Vietnam, and the lament for slain leaders such as Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.

We caught up on each other’s lives, the twists and turns that couldn’t have been foreseen so long ago.  We cried for classmates who have died, and we rejoiced in the gifts of grandchildren and satisfying careers.  We thought about the coming years, with most of us retired and enjoying new opportunities, while adjusting to the challenges of aging bodies.  And, because it was natural for us at a college that had required chapel in our day, we offered thanks for God’s providence.

In short, I experienced in a compressed timeframe many of the opportunities we have as a community at Trinity.  As we gather for worship, meetings, and our many activities, we get to know each other’s stories.  We share our thoughts, dreams, and disappointments.  We thank God for our many blessings, and we pray for forgiveness for our many failures.  We hear again the words of sacred stories and we see how the fragments of our own lives are woven into God’s great tapestry of humanity.

In short, we find meaning as we grasp the continuing power of the ties that hold us together.  In his newest novel, writer Michael Ondaatje (author of The English Patient, among other works) says this: “We order our lives with such barely held stories.  As if we have been lost for generations in a confusing landscape, gathering what was invisible and unspoken…sewing it all together in order to survive, incomplete.” 

As Christians, we trust that our incomplete lives are being held in God’s gracious hands.  That the invisibility and fragility that we each experience are being perfected in God’s good time, as God works for our wholeness and flourishing through the mysterious gift of love.  In the precious moments that we share with each other on this beautiful earth, we find ourselves held in a web as fragile and as strong as a spider’s spinning. Thanks be to God.

Longing to connect with you through church,

The Rev. Rainey Dankel    


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