During our recent Burden Bearing adult institute class it was noted that fixing a problem is not always possible. Sometimes the best that we can do is sit with our friends in the middle of their challenge. As we sit, we identify with them in the difficulties of the moment, and to use scriptural language “weep with those who weep” (Rm. 12:15). This Sunday evening we have our Service of Lament, a service that we have invited the community to join us in through distribution of a mailer. It is a service that has touched deeply the lives of some in our Christ Church community over the last couple of years. In keeping with the idea of weeping with those who weep, it occurred to me that maybe a way to bear one another burdens is to share our own.
During the service we will have three distinct prayer times. A time when we will lament the brokenness of the world; wars, hate, refugees, mass killings, terrorist bombings, corporate greed, environmental disregard, etc… A second movement will lament the brokenness in our personal relationships; divorce, wandering children, work relationships, cancer, death of a loved one, etc… A third prayer time will lament our own personal struggles; doubt, frustration w/ life, anger, sadness, depression, etc… Each of these is an opportunity to join with the Savior who wept over the world (Lk. 19:41), wept over a lost friend (Jn. 11:35), and cried out in his own dereliction (Mt. 22:46). We realize that there is an element of vulnerability here, but we trust that as together we open these wounds to the balm of the Gospel and the care of the community, there is healing to be found or at least begun.
Our prayer is that this service would be a time of hope in the darkness for those feeling the weight of brokenness. There are certainly burdens to be bourn, sometimes they need to be surfaced. Will you join us in prayers for this evening?