Rev. Scott's Letter, March 31
Delivered By
Rev. Tom Scott
Delivered On
March 31, 2020
Attached Document
march_31_number_two.pdf
Description

 

MARCH 31

Friends, I write this just within the last minutes of Monday, so I suppose one might technically claim that I am keeping up with my habit—to date—of sending out a note a day during our time apart as a congregation. I doubt very many of you will read it “in real time” as the saying goes, but that will be alright in the end.

I hope you all are keeping in touch with any family you have, your parish friends, and that wider circle of connections that help to sustain us in ordinary times. In your parish directory you will find the e-mail addresses of many of our members. If we don’t have an e-mail listed for you, or if what we have is not accurate, please let us know. If you know someone who would like to be included in our mailings, please pass their information along (with their permission, of course). You are welcome to send along to others any little bit of something I write in these notes. Our parish e-mail address is: admin@saint-giles.org.

Without wishing at all to draw attention to myself, I do want to explain why my daily note is late today. I live with migraines. Today I got slaughtered by a bad one, and it just knocked the stuffing out of me. I do have medicine that works, and I always have a dose with me.

  1. don’t get warnings, just slammed—and it happens anywhere anytime, including once in the middle of a sermon. With the headache come many other symptoms: light sensitivity, nausea, and so on.
  1. notice that I have begun four of the first six paragraphs in this note with “I”. Truly, it was not my intent to draw attention to me or to focus on my little personal ailment. However, it seems to have been an unavoidable part of making an explanation.

On the other hand, we all live with something or another, and being willing to let our “thing” be known is a sign of trust. Treating one another a little more gently because we know we each deal with something is a sign of good feeling and affection, and the fact that we recognize we are all mortal flesh.

Having just written this, I am unexpectedly reminded of JFK’s great speech at Georgetown University in 1963 in which he extended an olive branch to Nikita Khrushchev on the matter of nuclear weapons. This was about six or eight months after the Cuban missile crisis and perhaps six before his assassination.

Kennedy a decorated war veteran spoke to Khrushchev, another decorated war veteran, as well as to the people of the USA. Kennedy was a cold warrior, and very hard-nosed, as the Cuba matter showed. So were the Russians. Kennedy was trying to head off criticism here at home by being as forceful as he could be about being ready to defend the USA and our interests. Kennedy was also reaching out—veteran to veteran—to a man who was tough enough to survive Stalin, the Nazis, and the battle for Stalingrad, a man who would not be deterred easily. What could these two men possibly share?

Kennedy—handsome, born to wealth and privilege—spoke to a blunt-faced village metal-worker born under the Tsars, who worked his way up the ladder in the Communist party by long service in the Civil War, the Stalin five-year plans, and WWII.

Kennedy said, “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” Four little sentences, one three syllable word, the emotional core of his greatest speech. You can watch the entire speech--well worth the time--on youtube or read it at the Kennedy Library website. We forget hoe eloquent he was, (ably aided by Ted Sorensen, his co-speechwriter).

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, a d sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 
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