I used an image of a young boy holding up a little trash can saying, "He's hiding in there."
"Who?" Mom asks.
Jesus...in the place least likely. In the trash. Boom. There he is.
Jesus purposely travels to be with tax collectors and prostitues, to those who are outcast, untouchable or just plain forgotten.
I talked about how Jesus has been present for me and many others in the unexpected place of Converse sneakers. I talked about how we are all connected through the waters of baptism to Sarah, to her family and to each other. And no matter what we brought to worship tonight in our own little trash cans that Jesus would be there. Especially in the places we would rather hide from others and Jesus.
But he continues to come to us, in those moments, and that's the key...where we are is where Jesus comes to us.
And we are not in this alone. We walk this journey together and we love and pray for and care for one another in the midst of it all.
And then we sang the hymn, We come to you for healing, Lord. (ELW 617)
And it was verse three that got me. (I picked the lessons and hymns last week.).
"You touch is through physicians' skills,
Through nurses' gifts of care,
And through the love of faithful friends
Who lift our lives in prayer."
You touch us through the love of faithful friends who lift our lives in prayer.
We took time for laying on of hands (which is a staple in this service) we prayed together, we passed the peace, we shared in communion together.
At the close of the service after many hugs and smiles. One woman came up and hugged me and said that she didn't know how I had the strong faith that I did. (praphrased)
I told her that I am just like everyone else...and it's only by being lifted by others, by this community of faith and by her that I can believe.
Thanks be to God that we are not in this alone, that we are nurtured and cared for by others. By friends and family near and far, by brothers and sisters in Christ in our communities and around the world.
As mom saw many comments of love and support on my Facebook page after sharing Sarah's death she posted The following comment, "All these supportive comments are the manifestation of our love and concern for each other in times of extreme sadness and loss. You are all people who care about life and each other. That is the gospel in action in the world. You all matter." Preach it, Helen.
That is all.
Continuing as best as I can this night...thankfully knowing that others are caring for Sarah's family and friends and for me.
Thanks and peace.