Rev. Demetria L. Edwards provided the sermon on October 31, 2010. The above video link will allow you to view the sermon.
As far as we know, humans are the only creatures on earth that ponder the meaning of their living. Ants and elephants may do so, but we haven't figured it out yet. But history, philosophy, art, religion, science, literature, and many other subjects show that humans can and do think about what our living means. Whether we do it well or poorly, before acting or afterwards, humans ponder what we do, what others do, and what our living means. We are prodded to do this by significant events such as births, weddings, serious illnesses, and deaths. Indeed, every funeral or memorial service we attend forces us to think about what living means.
It was during Godric’s visit to the island, according to Frederick Buechner, when he ran into St. Cuthbert, who had died some four hundred years before. Cuthbert said to Godric, “When a man leaves home, he leaves behind some scrap of his heart…. It’s the same with a place a man is going to. Only then he sends a scrap of his heart ahead.”
 Frederick Buechner, The Eyes of The Heart (San Francisco: Harper, 1999), p. 4.
As Samuel Proctor mentioned in My Moral Odyssey, the Bible is not one book. Its sixty-six separate documents were not compiled into a single volume until three hundred years after Jesus died. Preachers must translate what was written, spoken, believed, and done by people thousands of years ago for people dealing with situations today.
There is no quick or easy way to discuss the problem of suffering, pain, and hope. None of us needs to be convinced that suffering and pain exist. There is too much of it for any sensible person to ignore. And there's also no reason to try proving to anyone that hope exists. We see too many people living and acting hopefully.
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