“A Good Death” – A Palm Sunday Sermon

On Palm Sunday, one year ago, my wife Jenna went into early labor and began hemorrhaging. She almost died. Our twin sons, Ezra and Leo, were born late that night, too little and too weak to survive. They died. I never made it to church that Sunday. But I want to share with you the sermon I would have preached that morning. It’s a sermon about a hospital room, about facing pain and death, and when I wrote it, I had no idea that I would spend that very day in a hospital room, facing pain and death. In the quiet of my grief, I returned to this sermon and found God speaking to me—in words I never knew were intended for me.

I share them with you now.

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The Equalizing Calm Before Chaos

“Confronted with sudden disaster, we all focus on how unremarkable the circumstances were in which the unthinkable occurred… Life changes in an instant. The ordinary instant.”

This moment – this ordinary, everyday moment – is a great equalizer. For precisely because of the ordinariness of this moment, we know that something like this could happen to any one of us.

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An Empty Nursery

New years bring new beginnings, new hopes, new dreams. There is perhaps no greater testament to this fact than the transformation of our empty nursery, whose door was once ominously closed but is now swung open in excited anticipation…

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Answering Unanswered Prayers

What do we do with unanswered prayers? Patrick wrestles with this question in his latest sermon. Why did God not save Ezra and Leo as we cried out to God to save them?

Yet, maybe our prayers have been answered in an unexpected way, as Patrick shares how, through one powerful interaction with a prisoner at a maximum security prison, God opened our eyes to a new path to parenthood – adoption.

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See me: A father’s perspective on stillbirth

As we enter Advent, the season of waiting for the Christ child, Presbyterian Outlook is sharing the stories of parents who bear the grief of infertility, pregnancy loss and infant loss. As a part of this series,  Presbyterian Outlook graciously asked Patrick to write a reflection on stillbirth from a father’s perspective. Read this, as well as the stories of other parents who have endured the pain of grief, in this remarkable series.

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