Sermon for 12 Pentecost Yr C

Frederick Buechner dies at 96

Frederick Buechner dies at 96

The “writer’s writer” and “minister’s minister,” Frederick Buechner (pronounced BEEKner) died peacefully in his home at 96 years of age, on August 15, 2022. 

He was the prolific author of almost 40 books, fiction, non-fiction, theology, autobiography, sermons and more. Yours truly has read some of his books over the years. One of my favourites is Peculiar Treasures: A Biblical Who’s Who. Two excerpts stand out for me. This is what he had to say about Sarah (and Abraham): “Sarah and her husband had had plenty of hard knocks in their time, and there were plenty more of them still to come, but at that moment when the angel told them they’d better start dipping into their old age pensions for cash to build a nursery, the reason they laughed was that it suddenly dawned on them that the wildest dreams they’d ever had hadn’t been half wild enough.” And this is Buechner’s take on Thomas’s encounter with the risen Christ: “Even though he said the greater blessing is for those who can believe without seeing, it’s hard to imagine that there’s a believer anywhere who wouldn’t have traded places with Thomas, given the chance, and seen that face and heard that voice and touched those ruined hands.”

In Buechner’s 1983 memoir Now and Then, he provides a sort of summary of what he has tried to communicate in his life, ministry, and writing: “Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.” To that I say, thank you God for the life, ministry and writing of Frederick Buechner! Amen. 

Sermon for 10 Pentecost Yr C

Sermon for 9 Pentecost Yr C