The Psalter of Jesus: Familiar With Grief // Psalm 6

All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one’s heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.
— Cormac McCarthy

The saddest things are always connected in some way to what is most beautiful, most joyful, most sacred. We weep over the loss of what is most worth possessing. So then, to spurn grief is to diminish the value and meaning of life. When we suppress our tears, we suppress acknowledging just how precious the gifts of creation truly are. A broken marriage is worthy of sorrow. Likewise, estrangement from friends or family deserves heartache. In fact, it is only from within these anguished places that we can fully see the treasures God has given. Just as absence can make the heart grow fonder, grief can fill the heart with worship. Jesus knew this and so let his great sorrows wash over him. He wept often, whenever the loss of something worthy cried out for it. And from his vantage point behind these many tears, he learned to see the world and the people in it for all they are -- lovely, needy, tender. Being familiar with grief taught Jesus to love.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Oh Church, be still;
the Lord’s love is steadfast.

Oh church, find rest;
He hears our needy cries.

Oh church, remember;
He has always been faithful.

Oh church, look up;
He is a suffering savior.

Oh church, sing with hope.
We sing, confident in you.

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Lord, we are uncertain, unsure, unable to gain a foothold, and exhausted from trying.
We have forgotten our blessed assurance in you.
Forgive us, Jesus: we are weak. Let us find rest in you.

In our striving for stability we have added insult to injury.
We mock your ways and boast of our own wisdom.
Forgive us, Jesus: we are weak. Let us depend on you.

We have become entrapped in the food and drink, the shelter and clothing, the paychecks and prosperity that you have given us.
We are wary of whatever threatens our wealth: we have forgotten your care for the birds and the lilies.
Forgive us, Jesus: we are weak. Let us trust in you.

We are slow to trust the depth of your suffering and the abundance of your life.
We do not believe that very God could be very man, drawing near and bearing the weight of humanity.
Forgive us, Jesus: we are weak. Let us lean on you.

Jesus, for all we are too weak to carry, you are able to bear the weight. Grow us up into you, that we would learn to work and rest in your strong life.
Christ, have mercy on us. It is only by your love and obedience that we dwell in safety.  

-authored by Abbey Kosterman