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Talk It Over - September 27, 2020

The Jesus Way: The Way of Lament

Scripture Passages

Matthew 5:4

God blesses those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted.

Matthew 23:37-39

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. 38 And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate. 39 For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Matthew 23:36-39

36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Matthew 27:45-46

45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

John 11:33-44

33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept.

36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

Reflect on the Verses

Take a moment to read through the passage slowly. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through it.

Is there a word or phrase that God is drawing to your attention? What is He saying to you through these texts?

Engage with the Message

  • What stood out to you from the Scripture passage and/or this week's message?

  • In what ways is God challenging you and/or encouraging you through the message?

  • How does our society try to avoid pain and focus on the pursuit of happiness? Why do you think we struggle so much to be honest with ourselves, others, and God about our pain?

  • Why do you think lament is important to God? What does it look like to faithfully embrace the way of lament in our lives?

  • How does it impact you to know that Jesus lamented, experienced pain, and even wept? Does this surprise you?

  • Is it possible to lament and trust God at the same time? What does that look like? How does our faith in God impact the way that we grieve?

  • What happens when we ignore or compartmentalize our suffering, or try to deal with it on our own? How does honesty in our suffering allow God to restore our joy?

  • Have you ever gone through a season of mourning and experienced God's comfort? What was that like?

  • In what ways do we distance ourselves from the brokenness and pain in the world and in other peoples lives? What situations in the world break your heart?

  • Where do you experience pain and brokenness in your own life? How do you handle this pain - do you try to deny it or pretend that it doesn't exist? Do you tend to get stuck in it? Do you let yourself be honest about it and invite others and God to meet you in that space? How is God inviting you to trust him in this area today?

A Prayer of Lament

Lord of all compassion, 

We pray for all of those caught up in the midst of tragedy or disaster. 

For those who have lost life and those working to save life 

For those who are worried for people they love 

For those who will see their loved ones no longer 

Lord Have Mercy. 

For those in need of the peace that passes all understanding 

For all who turn to you in the midst of turmoil 

For those who cry out to you in fear and in love 

Lord Have Mercy. 

For those in confusion and those in despair 

For those whose tears are yet to dry 

For those in need of your unending love 

Lord Have Mercy