man, wife, and a death rattle

Two nights ago, we celebrated the joining together of Mitch Mitchell and Sara Triana.  It was a delightful wedding, marked by joy and love.  Their families were excited, their friends were happy.  This indeed was a celebratory moment in the life of the clergyman.

But then today I saw a man on his death bed.  He was, what I call, breathing with the death rattle.  He is an old man; frail, weak, weathered by the tempests of life.  His caregivers were just that, caring.  They truly loved and cared for this man.  But he is near death, much nearer to us than that Great Divide.

And so how does the clergyman respond?  How can we celebrate one moment and mourn the next? 

I find my rest, solace, and comfort in the Daily Office.  And today, of all days when I really need it, the book of Acts served up some great stuff.  It is today that we read that it was in the ancient city of Antioch that we, followers of the Way, were first called “Christians.” 

This is the name that billions live and die by.  This is the name that identifies, marks, sifts out.  This is the name that I profess.  And what is more, this is the name that gives me the strength to celebrate, to mourn, to laugh, to cry, to pray, and to live.

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