Preparing for Worship - September 13, 2020
We believe that the Bible is the true Word of God. And yet, the Bible is clearly not just a collection of transcendent spiritual sayings. The Bible is filled with teaching and stories and prophecies that, while inspired by God, are at the same time very real and relatable, and profoundly human. This is how God speaks to us. Suffering, mourning, and lament aren’t glossed over or dismissed with simple platitudes. Instead, the Bible paints a very real picture of human suffering and mourning, and provides us with very real hope as well.
In his classic book on the Psalms, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes:
The Psalter gives us ample instruction in how to come before God in a proper way, bearing the frequent suffering which this world brings upon us… There is in the Psalms no quick and easy resignation to suffering. There is always struggle, anxiety, doubt… But even in the deepest hopelessness God alone remains the one addressed… It is common to all of them that they cast every difficulty and agony on God: “We can no longer bear it, take it from us and bear it yourself, you alone can handle the suffering.” That is the goal of all the lamentation in the Psalms. They pray concerning the one who took upon himself our diseases and bore our infirmities, Jesus Christ. They proclaim Jesus Christ to be the only help in suffering, for in him God is with us.
This week in our worship, as part of our 40 Days focus, as we begin to explore the Biblical motivations for prayer and fasting, our theme for the week is mourning. We’ll encounter mourning in Lamentations 3 and see that even in the midst of great lament, there is an even greater hope when we look to the Lord. Our response together to the truth of Scripture and the hope we find in Christ will be to sing Unchanging and Behold Him.
Following a special Kids’ Time with Marcia Jarrett, Pastor Andrew will dig deeper into the theme of mourning as he brings us a message from Joel 1. We will again respond with hope in the midst of mourning as we sing Our God Saves. We’ll conclude our time of worship with Prayer and Giving, and be sent out with a Benediction. If you have a prayer request you’d like to share this week, please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find a few moments to prepare for worship as you prayerfully engage with the Scripture and songs for this week. Remember also that attendance is limited at our in-person services right now, so you must register if you’d like to attend. Click here to register: Meadows Christian Fellowship Registration Form. I look forward to worshiping along with you this Sunday!