A Decision of Faith

April 15, 2012

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Sermon given while serving as seminarian

First Sunday of Easter – Year B (RCL) – Acts 4:32-35, Psalm 133, 1 John 1:1-2:2, John 20:19-31

On Labor Day morning eight years ago I got a phone call from my parents telling me that my older sister Kathy had been taken to the hospital, and that they were going there to check on her. It didn’t sound dire at the time, so I was shocked when I received another call just twenty minutes later, telling me that she had died.

My first need was to find out what had caused the death of my 41 year old sister – the sister I had just seen a few weeks earlier at my parent’s house as we gathered to celebrate our nephew’s birthday. What was a “pulmonary embolism”? … I needed to know.

Next, I needed to DO something. So, I offered to call my twin sister, Nancy, to tell her of Kathy’s death. This was the first time I delivered the unwelcome and shocking news to another person, but not the last. I began to call other relatives and family friends, telling each what little I knew…

In hindsight, I realized that I needed to say the words “Kathy has died.” It was in the repeated telling that I came to believe that it was true.

Over the course of the day, people started gathering at my parent’s home in Houston. My younger sister and I headed to the house. My brother made the three-hour drive from San Antonio. Nancy quickly packed a few things and caught a flight from Georgia. My aunts, uncles and cousins began rearranging their lives so they could come to Houston for the next few days…

And so, we gathered together.

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