There's been a suicide in the community. It's time to teach and talk about the misery of despair.
When the preachers met for coffee on Wednesday, three of us began talking about the lectionary for Sunday. It seems to us that Psalm 23 is a good place to begin a discussion about depression, hopelessness and being bone-crushingly lonely. Walter Bruggeman, retired professor of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, has a sermon on Psalm 23 in his The Threat of Life. I'll read it after I finish my sermon so that I don't let it influence me. It's too early in the process for me to see someone else's sermon. The other preachers think it has great power for seeing the Psalm and I'm sure they are correct.
I'll be focusing on the "he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies." Misery and depression sure feel like enemies to me.
O Lord of Life, be with the family of ......... Let them know your presence through the words and actions of their friends and family. Let them be comforted by those who love them.
Teach each of us to live so closely to you that we cannot think of our lives apart from Your life. Keep us in your loving care so that we may hold on to this life until it's end. Comfort those who struggle with hopelessnes and despair. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.
(I had to call the computer tech again. I'm back online again for awhile, I hope.)