Alienation and Promise

Occasionally I ask you to think about what had to happen for you to be here

today. When I ask that I'm not thinking about the fact that you had to set the clock

at a particular time, bathe and get dressed, have some breakfast and make your

way here. What I'm thinking about is the complex set of stepping stones or

events or decisions that had to take place for you to be sitting where you are with

the degree of involvement or lack thereof you have in this gathering or in St.

Paul's as your community of faith.

As I look back over my own life I can see what Robert Johnson calls slender

threads running from the day of my birth right to this moment. Some of the events

have been highly-charged and exciting moments and some of them have been

among the most painful things I have endured. For example, if I had not been

fired from what I thought at the time I wanted to be my life-long career, I would

not be standing here. Nor, I doubt, would I be here if over thirty years ago I hadn't

been blind-sided by a divorce. All of these things - both the things I mistakenly

labeled as "good" and those I equally mistakenly labeled as "bad" have been

woven together to make the fabric that has become the tapestry of my life.

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