Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


God Hides in Plain Sight 8

posted by Scot McKnight


SacredSpaceNels.jpg

Do you know someone facing death? Are you being asked to help someone face death?
I love how the 7th chp of Dean Nelson’s new book opens up: 
I have found what I was searching for without ever having discovered what it was.

Dean Nelson’s chapter in God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World
 , deals with last rites, and his experiences in hospitals have led him to see their value. He then turns to a letter from a fearful person facing death and how a little thing, the word “Ishmael” (God hears) was a glimpse of God’s presence. 
Mayday isn’t the last word. Thanks for being with us might be. Grief and fear, these are the emotions.

Dean talks about the death of his friend, how they wrote letters to one another, how his friend discussed the reality of both faith and doubt in those days. He talks about his experience as a teenager in a hospital watching a man die — and he went outside and vomited. It wasn’t like TV, he pondered. More letter from his friend, Larry.
What do we have in those last moments? “The sacrament of the present moment.”
When a priest in a hospital asked Dean’s father, an evangelical pastor, what he was feeling on his deathbed his father said, “Confident.” He was affirming not so much where he was going as Who was with him.
One of the elements of the sacrament of the present moment is memory and the pledge that the person won’t be forgotten.
He ponders other transitions and clinches his thoughts about being with one another in those last moments, because those moments teach us the sacredness of all moments. We can learn “to tell each other that we’re headed in the right direction.”


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Darryl

posted October 19, 2009 at 3:26 pm


“The sacrament of the present moment.” I like that language.



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tscott

posted October 20, 2009 at 8:14 am


Here again you can see several Christian positions. Catholics have always placed the sacred at death in the last rites. Many a bible reader has brought annointing oil. But honestly hasn’t our idea of the sacred grown, so that we may find grace to help in time of need?
At this 8th installment I think it should be added that Dean Nelson doesn’t believe God hides. There are real conduits through which God’s love is communicated to us, and the grace received is transforming in character.



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