Water Communion


Rev. Don Beaudreault
First Parish Brewster UU
September 13, 2015


         All creatures of the earth and sky, come kindred, lift your voices high…Bright burning sun with golden beam, soft shining moon with silver gleam. Swift rushing wind so wild and strong, white clouds that sail in heaven along. Fair rising morn in praise rejoice, high stars of evening find a voice. Cool flowing water, pure and clear, make music for all life to hear. Dance, flame of fire, so strong and bright, and bless us with your warmth and light. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
Attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi

SERMON STORY: “A Shark’s Tale”

Reading: from The Boston Globe, September 7, 2015

         Sharks beaching themselves is very unusual…to say the least…Sunday’s incident was probably the result of the shark’s becoming confused in the shallows close to shore.

Reading: “And when the day arrives…”

And when the day arrives I’ll become the sky and I’ll become the sea and the sea will come to kiss me for I am going home. Nothing can stop me now. – Trent Reznor

Story: They did the best they could on that Sunday morning at the beach. Those humans! Mostly strangers to each other. Some one-hundred of them. They never would have connected had I not come into their lives. They were just there – on that beautiful, late summer’s day, enjoying themselves in the sun, sand, and surf.

But there I was, having gotten lost in the sea. Me, a great white shark in a place called Whitecrest Beach in a town called Wellfleet.

I was dying. It was my turn. A creature – just like all those people trying to save me. Some with buckets of water. Some with prayers.

There were tears, too. And perhaps fear – after all, my type is known for killing humans.

And there was curiosity – and cameras.

Still, so many tried to help me. Digging that trench and pouring water over me. Tying that rope to my tail, and dragging me out to sea with the help of a boat.

It was a wonder to observe: those humans overcoming their fear of me and trying to keep me alive.

They’re so strange. Had I been swimming near them, it would have been a different story! They would have panicked then – and gotten out of my way! Perhaps they even would have tried to kill me.

But I was harmless by the time they saw me – having drifted on to that beach, having lost my way.

Well, it was nature having its way with me. After all, I am but a part of nature – and I still am, although I now take a different form.

Those creatures who tried to revive me are nature too. And they are on the planet for just a bit of time – nobody knows how long. And then, they, too, will transform.

It was just my time. But it was a wonder to have my life end, surrounded by so many of those humans who didn’t really know each other, but who came together to try to help me – a creature that causes them to fear for their lives.

It just goes to show that even if you don’t succeed in what you are attempting, it is worth the effort, nevertheless. The attempt to save me failed. But in the process, people bonded together for a common cause. Their individual selves faded away. They forgot their fear of me. Most of them even felt sorrow for my plight. Even those who thought of me as the enemy.

Oh, those humans! So strange! So wonderful!


I am but a drop of water. Alone, I would disappear. Dried up by the scorching sun or sucked up by the dry, thirsty earth. But together, we can wear out stones, carve out the Grand Canyon, make streams and rivers, and find our way to the sea.

Kok-Heong McNaughton