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The Rev. Frederick Buechner The Rev. Frederick Buechner
The Rev. Frederick Buechner is an ordained Presbyterian minister and author of numerous bestselling books and novels. Visit www.FrederickBuechner.com

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Presbyterian Church (USA)

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Frederick Buechner Center


Frederick Buechner Sermon Illustration: Tears

March 28, 2019

In our blog post each Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic.

Next Sunday we will celebrate the Fifth Sunday in Lent.  Here is this week’s reading from Psalm 126:

Psalm 126:5-6

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. 

Here is Buechner’s well-known note on Tears, first published in Whistling in the Dark, then later in Beyond Words and Listening to Your Life:

You never know what may cause them. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music, or a face you've never seen before. A pair of somebody's old shoes can do it. Almost any movie made before the great sadness that came over the world after the Second World War, a horse cantering across a meadow, the high school basketball team running out onto the gym floor at the start of a game. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention.

They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go to next.


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