On St. Patrick’s Day 2013, I got a chance to preach at Union Baptist Church in Mystic, Connecticut. My message was entitled “We are All Worthy” and it covered compassion, kindness, community, and suicide prevention. It was from a Biblical perspective and I want to give you a few highlights because, and if I do say so myself, it was the bomb!
Before you all start giggling and wondering how I crossed into the threshold of a church without lightning striking me dead, I am an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church. I don’t talk about my faith too often because it’s intensely personal and something we can have an intimate conversation about when I see you. The message was also in anticipation of the “I am Worthy Project” which I’m collaborating on.
...I want to read a passage from 1st Kings 19: 4-8. This is right after Elijah defeated the prophets of Ba’al. He was on the run and was going through a very dark time in his life.
4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel[a] touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.
Elijah wanted to die. He fell into a deep, dark despair. One of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament. That guy. What did God do?
God didn’t try to make him feel guilty. He didn’t say “Hey Elijah...how could you?” or “Think of your family” or even “You’re being selfish right now.” Nope. He didn’t do any of that.
He didn’t give a bunch of advice. “Hey Elijah maybe if you got a little exercise once in awhile... take a few laps around the mountain and sweat it out.” Nope. None of that either.
God didn’t even tell him he was a sinner.
What did God do? He was compassionate and caring. He listened. He provided support, a professional helper if you will, an angel.
And we can be that same guardian angel that God provided Elijah. We can be a support. We can do more listening than speaking, we can be sympathetic and without judgement. And we can refer to professional help.
That was just a sample, some of the middle of the message, but I’m pretty proud of it and wanted to share with y’all. If you so some faith-based Christian stuff, feel free to take the message and expand upon it and use it!
Thanks for playin’
- The Rev.