At the end of Trey Sellstrom’s glorious (yes, full of God’s glory!) funeral yesterday all the pastors in the room gathered and proclaimed: “You only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind; and we are mortal, formed of the earth, and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me, saying, You are dust, and to dust you shall return.’ All of us go down to the dust; yet even atthe grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”
Yet even at the grave . . . that’s the money phrase . . . even at the grave. Right there in that mournful moment, in that dusty and joy-starved place we sing a defiant song of praise to God: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Every single one of us makes daily graveside visits; we stand at the graveside of hopes for relationships, our plans and productivity for the day, our desire for an orderly house or an encouraging word at work or a good grade or good news from our favorite media outlet. The next time today when find yourself at a dusty graveside, proclaim these words: “yet even at the grave I make my song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!” . . . because we not only have daily graveside visits; we also have daily resurrection encounters.
So much has happened since our parish retreat two weeks ago, but let’s not forget how beautifully God visited our community. I loved the festive combination of all generations, challenging teaching, laughter, meals with new friends, outdoor play and the celebration of baptisms and communion. I want to challenge us all to keep alive the weekend in three ways: (1) identify one way God ministered to you and thank Him (2) identify one individual or couple that you met and reach out to them this week [a meal, a note in the mail] (3) identify one thing from Fr. Bill Haley’s teaching that you want to explore further. All Fr. Bill’s talks are available online right here.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!