On Saturday, Nov. 6 at 4 p.m., Our Savior will have its first-ever Service of Lament.
What is “lament”? Sometimes as people of the world, we are the psalmist, full of grief, crying out to God, sad, angry, asking for answers, accusing people and God and even ourselves for our pain. (More than a third of the 150 Psalms are considered “psalms of lament.)
The idea for this service arose from a series of studies in our church called “Be the Bridge” which walked participants through a biblical process toward greater racial unity. We found that sharing in lament for past injustices and present tensions was a key step. When we consider racial divisions in our nation, our community and our congregation, many of us feel like the psalmist – hurt, angry, confused, maybe even personally affected. The Service of Lament will offer a space for that grief. Not only did God’s people cry out, but it was considered holy enough to be in the Bible, so we can rest assured that our cries of pain are heard and the process can be holy.
There are certainly many other reasons for lament in our current world – the ravages of the pandemic, political and social discord in our nation, violence, and poverty around the world. We hope to have future Services of Lament focused on some of those broader issues.
If we aren’t as personally affected or don’t understand, then we can be Jesus to those who are – all he did was weep. Mary accused him of inaction, the Jews debated about whether or not he loved Lazarus or whether he should have acted differently – but Jesus stood by his friend and wept. We can stand by others who are weeping, without defending ourselves, without getting all the details or explaining there is no need for grief because of our greater knowledge that joy comes in the morning. We can honor grief and pain, with the knowledge that joy can come in the morning, but at the moment, hold the mourners and hear their pain.
We can be the church together – those who are sad, those who are angry, those who are repentant, those who don’t get it. . . we can all be united in our knowledge that there is hope in Jesus, but the present time is hard. So please come on Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. and help us be the church united during this time.