01 Apr Good Friday Service
“We are Easter people living in a Good Friday world.”
Tomorrow is, as you may know, Good Friday – a strange name for something so somber.
Christians will gather globally to remember the death of God in the person of Jesus, and all that fact and truth and story mean. And as we gather this Good Friday, we will have, specifically, a Service of Lament. If that sounds strange or intriguing, please keep reading!
What is lament? Lament, at its core, is a Biblical response to human pain.
Biblical lament is not stuffing our pain nor venting our pain, but Biblical lament is praying our pain in such a way that creates, or re-creates, hope and trust in God.
A full third of the Psalms are Psalms of Lament, which is sort of God’s way of agreeing with Elton John: Sad Songs Say So Much.
On the cross, we hear Jesus lament, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” That phrase itself is taken from Psalm 22, a Psalm, you guessed it, of Lament.
So, this Friday at our Good Friday service, I hope you will make space to enter into something God has already gone first into: a space for lament.
We are going to walk together through the four-step process of Biblical Lament:
- Turning Towards God
- Bringing our Complaint to God
- Crying out for Help from God
- Choosing to Trust in God
We will have a song, a prayer and a practice for each step in addition to a brief message from Dr. Rosalynn Smith, a dramatic arts presentation, and a moment for communion together as a church community.
There will be several moments of silence along the way – that’s okay! There may be some tears shed and emotions expressed – that’s good! Again, God has gone before us into this kind of space, and to be fully human is to, at times, as Jesus showed us, express these before Almighty God.
The truth is that most of us, maybe even all of us, have lost something or a lot of things over this past year.
Our culture gives us few resources for helping us to process and grieve those losses properly, but thankfully our Scriptures actually do.
So, I’m inviting you to come (and bring your children if you feel it’s appropriate) into this space where we can both follow Jesus and teach our children and friends how to follow Jesus in what is perhaps the most authentic human expression in a broken world – the expression of lament.
After all, in a way, Good Friday is God’s lament for a broken world.
Yes, we know there is more to the story! But a story is only as powerful as the emotional stakes involved. And the depth to which a story changes us is equal to the depth to which we sense and experience those emotional stakes.
In short, we hope to make the Empty Tomb (Easter Sunday) that much more meaningful, hopeful and celebratory by taking time to visit the Cross (Good Friday) first.
I’ll see you there, both live and in-person, at 6 pm and 7:30 pm.
P.S. You should know that we are excited to have been able to increase our seating capacity for our gatherings to 50%. We would love to have you!