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.
Read More “A Good Death” – A Palm Sunday Sermon
Where is God when we have no strength left?
Read this powerful sermon of strength and hope that Patrick shared with his congregation during a special service on the longest night of the year, a service that recognizes that even at Christmas many were experiencing loss, darkness, and doubt. Along with Patrick, find the miracle of one more breath. One more step.
Read More A Sermon for Strength
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.
Read More Answering Unanswered Prayers
In my job, as I support the families of organ donors, I bear witness to the pain of indescribable human suffering every day. Where is God when the suffering of this life feels so senseless? Where was God when my own sons died?
Read More Finding Comfort in the Senselessness of Suffering
The world of grief feels like a parallel universe, an Upside Down underworld that one must journey through to reach “Acceptance.” But is Acceptance truly accepted in the Land of the Living? Or is there another place where both darkness and light, both pain and peace can live together?
Read More The Upside Down, Alternate Reality of Grief
Even in the face of death, it is easy to lose perspective and forget the miraculous wonder of everyday life. Rediscover this with me as I explore the tension of grief and gratitude that I have felt on this journey.
Read More Grief and Gratitude
While we were holding our sons in the hospital, before saying our final goodbyes, Patrick read a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson to them, entitled “Threnody.” Emerson wrote this poem after his own son died.
This poem serves as a centerpiece in the final sermon of a 4-part sermon series that Patrick preached on Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son, Isaac.
Read More “All is Riddle”
“A sermon from a grieving father on Father’s Day”
On this Father’s Day, Patrick dares to face one of the most terrifying stories of the Bible: the attempted sacrifice of Abraham’s son Isaac.
This marks Patrick’s first Father’s Day since the stillbirth of our sons. And as a grieving father, in this sermon, Patrick peers through the eyes of another father who must face the prospect of losing his son.
Read More “A Father’s Sacrifice”
Ever since our sons Ezra and Leo died, We have experienced an acute awareness of others’ pain. I suppose you could say that we “hear” the world differently. Hear the voices of prophets with us in Patrick’s sermon that he preached for Pentecost.
Read More “Prophets unheard” – A Sermon for Pentecost
“How does a pastor grieve?”
Patrick dares to ask this profound question as he wrestles with God’s absence in this article. Originally published as a column in Auburn’s local newspaper, “The Citizen.”
Read More How does a pastor grieve?