Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pentecost 8 C - Luke 10:25-37

Luke 10:25-37
This was the Gospel text six years ago on the day when Alanna Keely Gallagher was baptized into the family of God. On that day I spoke of Alanna joining the company of innkeepers as Jesus the Good Samaritan leaves the wounded and weary in the care of the church until the day he returns promising to repay us far more than we spend. It is a bittersweet memory today as the family of God at Calvary is bloodied, wounded and weary, bearing the weight of Alanna’s murder. But we will gather in the place that Alanna liked the best and process to a “bouncy hymn” (Shine, Jesus, Shine) albeit with weeping eyes because those are the kinds of hymns Alanna liked. The choir will sing the descant of “This Is the Feast” supported by brass and strings because we dare to claim the future as a present reality even when our hearts are broken and the victory seems far away. Parents and friends will speak words of remembrance that will make us cry and laugh at the same time and the Gospel will do what it is meant to do and be the Good News of Jesus Christ that overcomes the bad news of our broken relationship with God and each other. We will embrace one another in our grief and share the peace that passes all our ability to understand though we certainly recognize it when we receive it. We will gather around the banquet meal of hope and healing because joined with Christ we know Alanna and all the saints who have gone on before will be there with us in bread and wine, body and blood. And in confident hope of the life that is eternal we will speak the words of commendation as Alanna the innkeeper joins the company of cheerleaders, if you will, to spur us on to care for the lost and the lonely, the wounded and the weary, at the inn that is the church.


  1. Thank you for all the help and support you've given Alanna's family in this time. Those of us who can't be there for them in person, are grateful for the fact people like you are there for them.

  2. Thanks for these words of hope Pastor Phil. I wish I could be there today, but I am there in wounded spirit. I believe what Intern Ethan said Sunday, that we will all be changed by this tragedy, but it is up to us to decide how it will affect us. Instead of reacting out of anger and fear, I hope we honor Alanna by reaching out in love to comfort each other. Alanna was all hugs, smiles and sunshine. Even if our hugs are damp, our smiles are weak and our spirits are cloudy, we can do our best to love and hope and heal and grow.