This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, November 5, 2021
This week has offered many conversations, and follow-up reflections, on time. The words and wonderings were about the time we spend, have, are given in our lives… and all those conversations also happened in timely ways; right on time, so to speak. There were devotions to open meetings, calling forth reassessments of life’s pace, and paces. There were sacred moments of accompaniment, with brave disciples who choose not to take a minute for granted. There were powerful reminders of how quickly time can slip away, and how precious it is to have ways to share it, together.
Amid all of that, there was a long-awaited delivery. It was, it is, no surprise, a book, but this time a more unique publication. It is a posthumous release, from the legacy collection of Rachel Held Evans. Built from notes, messages, and a partial manuscript, released by Rachel’s husband Dan to their friend Jeff Chu, ‘Wholehearted Faith’ is an exquisite expression of Rachel’s powerful theological voice. Now over two years since her death, her words and wisdom have a renewed space to reach countless like her: spiritual sojourners, in search of belonging; in search of a safe place to ask hard questions, about God, themselves, the church, and all of the above, combined.
Because her death is still relatively fresh, and because she was just 37, and because it happened so unexpectedly, from a seemingly everyday ailment, there is still deep grief in many writings about Rachel Held Evans. Her loss is lamented, and rightly so, as a life that ended so prematurely. Slowly but surely, though, and led by her husband Dan, Rachel’s life is also increasingly spoken of first for the extraordinary journey it was, and for the many lessons she continues to teach. Her presence is still known in profound ways and, I certainly hope, will be for a long time to come.
I wonder if that’s part of what we’re moving toward, and through, in this Remembrance Sunday. I wonder if the deep and necessary lament, for so many lives ended so prematurely, will also make space for hope; for carrying the lessons learned from those who died with a longing for peace. I wonder if this year’s 100th anniversary of the Remembrance Poppy in Canada is a milestone that helps us to hear the voices of long ago. With red flowers in our lapels, for even this short stretch of time, may we listen for the sacred wisdom that calls beyond all wars. May we hear the Prince of Peace speak with tender strength, inviting us to remember the Way where all belong.
With love to you all,
“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”