We are continuing to look out in more detail on one of our core values: We want to be a community that is safe to talk about and work through anything.
All four of our core values can be found HERE.
SAFE TO LAMENT AND MOURN
We live in a broken and fallen world. This is obvious. At the same time, we believe that Jesus the Christ has risen and that he is making all things new. Sin and death no longer have the final word. Yet life is still hard.
How do we as Jesus followers navigate through suffering and tragedy? There is this great line that Paul says to the Jesus community in Thessaloniki - “grieve but do not grieve as those without no hope” (1 Thess 4v13).
Paul is telling the church to grieve. Lament. Cry. Call out to God. Ask why. Scream. Mourn. Get mad. Call evil what it is - evil. Recognize that evil and death is against God’s ultimate will.
Weep as Jesus did in John 11. Even though he knew that Lazarus would rise right then and there, and had the power to raise him, Jesus pauses to weep. So weep and mourn when death comes. Don’t fake it.
Cry out like the psalmist - “how long oh Lord?” (Ps 13)
Tell God that darkness is your only friend (Ps 88)
Experience and feel the whole book of lament (Lamentations).
Recognize that nearly half that psalms are lament songs and poems. What if our worship sets followed that pattern?
Know that for millennia, God’s faithful people have always given space for mourning and lamenting.
This is something that we, especially Western American Christians are not good at.
At the same time, Jesus Center Church will be a place where we lift up Jesus and the true hope that he brings. Jesus is alive and he really is making all things new. Jesus’ love is greater than death itself and one day he will wipe away every tear. In the new creation, there will be no more death, mourning or crying. All the sad things will become untrue.
So as we grief we recognize that everyone laments and mourns differently. We don’t approach grieving with two verses and I’ll see you later. We don’t approach lament with cliches. We don’t rush grieving. Sometimes the best work that God does is in the darkest, loneliest moments of pain and loss.
We will be a safe place to grieve and lament.