Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Seat the congregation – Remain Quiet

We contemplate Jesus’ death. We think of our own death.

We march toward Good Friday. All the Biblical readings move us to think about the death of Jesus and own death and the death of those whom we love.

Few of us can dwell very long on death. Our minds drift to other things very soon.

The Christian Church is one of the few communities that regularly teach about death Palm Sunday and Good Friday come around every single year, like it or not.

In the first parish I served in 1956 as a curate. Gail came to the rector, Fr. Barrett and said, “Could you please play down all that pain, sorrow and death during Holy Week and Good Friday this year. I don’t think it is good for the children to hear and read about all that stuff.”

The Rector was polite, but said things had to go on as usual and it did.

A few years later Gail committed suicide.

We walk through the valley of the shadow of death in this life of ours. The valley of the shadow of death is:

         1. Immigrants who fear deportation.

2. LGBT people who fear decisions by the Supreme Court perhaps nullifying same-sex marriages.
3. Elders who fear running out of money and housing.

4. Each of us as we age and grow more sick and infirm.

“Yeah, though I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil for thou art with me.”

The Christian Church is a witness to death, its fact, meaning and mourning and healing.

We also stood witness to Jesus as we marched around the streets. We witnessed to Jesus who teaches us infinite love, compassion, forgiveness.

We followers of Jesus stand witness to the hungry, homeless and those who need healing.

It seems silly and useless to walk the streets, stand vigil for peace or end violence in our neighborhood. We are not likely to change things very much.

A man asked me when I was at the Vigil for Peace recently, “Do you really think you will abolish all wars?” I said, “Probably not, but I am here to say I am opposed to war.”

So we Christians stand witness to the reality of death, to love, to forgive and to our inspiration, JESUS, the revolutionary.



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