“Holy Tears: David, Absalom…and Us”

A sermon inspired by the personal story of a king who was losing it and his son, Absalom, leading to the larger question of how we define abundance in our time. If you can get by the first minute and have the time – it’s dreadfully long 🙂 it might be of interest. Please let me know your responses to the last part of the sermon re-defining the idea of abundance.

8 thoughts on ““Holy Tears: David, Absalom…and Us”

  1. Pingback: Death in the Wood of Ephraim (Dennis Aubrey) « Via Lucis Photography

    • Dennis, the earlier reply was written hastily and with spelling errors. Below is an edited reply. I slso re-posted (“Pressed”) this wonderful reflection.

      Dennis, this is such a profound reflection, in my view. Once again you weave the thread through the highs of joy and the depths of sin and sorrow in ways that move us beyond the separation of light and shadow/darkness that too often keeps us in spiritual and moral diapers, separating the sheep from the goats. Your note gives me hope that the time preparing for the pulpit is not in vain, especially when it is appreciated by someone who does not define himself as a practicing Christian. Friedrich Schleiermacher spent his life in conversation with “the cultured despisers” (i.e., good, rational people whose sophistication had led them to conclude that religion was a relic that impedes the sure ascent of historical progress). In your photography and writings I find a conversation partner who lives at the razor’s edge between belief and disbelief, joy and despair, the heights and the abyss of nothingness, and the honest search for hope and truth beyond the illusion of inevitable progress. If Romanesque architecture “induces internal experience and reflection…” – the internal experience of the external expression of Gothic – your photography and commentaries continually weave the two together to achieve a rare depth, and a balance between the seen and unseen, the external and internal. I am deeply grateful. – Gordon


  2. Hi, Gordon. The early American composer wrote a hymn (as I recall, a somewhat extended hymn, in some lists called an anthem or hymn — I haven’t sung it in about 35 years) whose tune title is “Connection” and whose title is David’s Lamentation. I managed to copy paste the words. Unfortunately I have no idea how to do a recording, if there is one. (It isn’t one of his better known tunes.). Anyway here are the words.

    David, the king, was grieved and moved,
    He went to his chamber and wept;
    And as he went he wept, and said:
    “O my son! O my son!
    Would to God I had died
    For thee, O Absalom, my son!”

    As I remember, the music was appropriately tragic and mournful.


    • Dennis, I’m stunned that someone – especially someone whose thoughtful work I so admire – has taken the time to watch this sermon, to comment, and to share the Scjutz Lament. Thank you! This morning I record a piece for All Things Considered at Minnesota Publiic Radio on finding serenity in the midst of an ugly campaign season. Hope you have a good day, Dennis – PJ too.


      • I follow your blog and “Holy Tears” appeared this morning. For some reason, the Lament of David is one of those passages that stay with me always, like the “Abyssus abyssum invocat” and “My Name is Legion”, both of which I have posted on. Your post has inspired me to work on a new post, “Death in the Wood of Ephraim” which I am preparing now.


        • Dennis, I’ll look “Abyssus abyssum invocat”. I spent a full semester on sabattical working on “My name is ‘Legion'” (Latin Word in a Greek text referring to Roman army) in the Gospel of Mark. My favorite pericipe. I’ll look for Death int he Wood of Ephraim with anitipation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s