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Preparing for Corporate Worship - Grief and Lament

Written By Ryan Egan on 11/14/2014 | Posted in Congregational LifeWorship

There's a certain avoidance in many worship service planning circles of ever talking about grief or ever offering the chance to lament. While we must remember that the Christian does not "grieve as those who have no hope," the Christian still grieves. And if we never acknowledge grief and never allow a place to express it corporately, we face the temptation of letting it sit and fester, especially if we don't share the grief within us with others we can trust and confide in.

Thanks Be To Our God for Grief

This Sunday Pastor Wade will be continuing his "Thanks Be To Our God" series, thanking God for grief. It seems to be an odd thing to thank Him for. However, Scripture is very clear on the importance of suffering:

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. - Romans 5:3-5

Wow! Through our grieving, we know that on the other side is endurance, character, and hope with the foundation of God's great love! And in our suffering, though it may feel like it at times, not once is God absent.

And Jesus was obviously no stranger to suffering. He endured the greatest suffering on our behalf. But not only that, we can relate to Him as fully man as well, seeing that he portrayed great grief on earth in John 11 during the death of Lazarus.

Lyrics of Hope

To that end, this Sunday we are singing some hymns that some might be considered songs that you would sing at a funeral. However, when you really break apart the lyrics of these hymns, there is an amazing amount of triumph, hope, and reassurance in them. Take a look at some of these phrases:

I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless. Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness. Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still if Thou abide with me.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on when we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Ills have no weight, tears have no bitterness, and when change and those tears are past, we shall be forever with the Lord with sorrows forgot and love's purest joys restored.

Would you let these words be comfort to you this Sunday as you sing them?

Listen to and Learn the Music

As always, you can head to to listen to and learn the songs for Sunday.

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Ryan serves as Director of Worship & Creative Arts at Living Word. He is a follower of Jesus, husband, father of three, worshiper and creative.


Worship: Sundays at 9:00 AM | Christian Education: 10:30 AM