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And I Quote...

By Dan Baumgartner on
Dan Baumgartner
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Apr 26 in Musings
I haven’t really counted them up yet, but I’m guessing that in 8 ½ years at Hollywood Presbyterian, I have preached roughly 400 sermons. Most of those were preached either 2 or 3 times, depending on our worship schedules. This means that along the way, you have heard me quote many people. I read a great deal, and inevitably that reading creeps into sermons. The names you hear most frequently from me are C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Eugene Peterson, Martin Luther King Jr., Kathleen Norris, T.S. Eliot, J.R.R. Tolkien, Wendell Berry and...Frederick Buechner. Buechner, now in his 90’s, is an ordained Presbyterian minister who never pursued a call to pastor a church. After a bit of teaching, he spent the rest of his career writing (mostly) and speaking (some).  He has published thirty books across a variety of genres from fiction to autobiography to essays to sermons.  His writing is beautiful, inspiring and challenging.  This week I want to just share a sample, and let you do your own musing on it.  My encouragement is: don’t be in a hurry.  Savor it like you would a nice cup of tea on a Saturday afternoon.
 “We listen to the evening news with its usual recital of shabbiness and horror, and God, if we believe in him at all, seems remote and powerless, a child's dream. But there are other times--often the most unexpected, unlikely times--when strong as life itself comes the sense that there is a holiness deeper than shabbiness and horror and at the very heart of darkness a light unutterable. Is it only the unpredictable fluctuations of the human spirit that we have to thank? We must each of us answer for ourselves, remember for ourselves, preach to ourselves our own sermons. But "Remember the wonderful works," sings King David, because if we remember deeply and truly, he says, we will know whom to thank, and in that room of thanksgiving and remembering there is peace.”
- originally from A Room Called Remember and later in Secrets in the Dark
See you soon,
            Pastor Dan

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