Hail, and Farewell

I had heard via a variety of sources the story about the Washington Senators (sorry, I’m old school) Texas Rangers respecting Josh Hamilton’s painful history of drug problems by celebrating with ginger ale instead of champagne; given so many aspects of sport culture’s tendency to veer toward the macho and heedless, I found this very touching.
And my saddened sympathies to colleagues at Virginia Theological Seminary, whose chapel burned down yesterday afternoon. The grief from such losses shows that maxims about “church not being about buildings,” though true as far as they go, don’t get to every important human dimension of how our imaginations collaborate across time and space to make a sensuous expression of our joy in God’s glory, and of our solidarity with the communion of saints. God does not need us to build a house, nor do we need a designated shelter to celebrate the sacraments — but we build for God anyway out of a deep, persistent sense that this is one particularly apt way of committing our faith to stone and wood, brick and glass. May all the saints whose lives honoured God in Immanuel Chapel uphold and console one another during these sorrowful days.

1 thought on “Hail, and Farewell

  1. Hamilton is a class act. We had him at Cincinnati for his rookie season and he was always the guy staying behind the longest, making sure all the kids who wanted his autograph got one. Completely unassuming character, he doesn’t flaunt his biography to get attention he just works hard and keeps his head down. He even takes his wife on all the road trips to make sure he doesn’t slip back into the, er, “Duke Lacrosse” culture that dominates professional sports like baseball and basketball that travel so often. Plus, it’s always nice to see underdogs trump the heavily favored forces of evil—that is, the Yankees.

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