Our Lament for the Charleston Tragedy - June 21, 2015

The video of this moving service can be watched at this link when it is finished uploading.Our Sunday gathering was a corporate lament for our brothers and sisters in South Carolina as they mourn over the loss to the families of the 9 church members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston as well as the young man who was driven by hatred to kill these followers of Jesus Christ, and his family.

A CALL TO WORSHIP FOR THE TRAGEDY IN CHARLESTON

[Leader] We stand before you today, oh Lord Hearts broken, eyes weeping, heads spinning Our brothers and sisters have died They gathered and prayed and then were no more The prayer soaked walls of the church are spattered with blood The enemy at the table turned on them in violence While they were turning to you in prayer

[All] We stand with our sisters We stand with our brothers We stand with their families We stand to bear their burden in Jesus’ name

[Leader] We cry out to you, oh Lord Our hearts breaking, eyes weeping, heads spinning The violence in our streets has come into your house The hatred in our cities has crept into your sanctuary The brokenness in our lives has broken into your temple The dividing wall of hostility has crushed our brothers and sisters We cry out to you, May your Kingdom come, may it be on earth as it is in heaven

[All] We cry out for our sisters We cry out for our brothers We cry out for their families We cry out for peace in Jesus’ name

[Leader] We pray to you today, oh Lord Our hearts breaking, eyes weeping, souls stirring We pray for our enemies, we pray for those who persecute us We pray to the God of all Comfort to comfort our brothers and sisters in their mourning We pray that you would bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes We pray that you would give them the oil of joy instead of mourning We pray that you would give them a garment of praise in place of a spirit of despair

[All] We pray for our sisters We pray for our brothers We pray for their families We pray for their comfort in Jesus’ name

[Leader] We declare together, oh Lord With hearts breaking, eyes weeping and souls stirring We will continue to stand and cry and weep with our brothers and sisters We will continue to make a place of peace for even the enemies at our table We will continue to open our doors and our hearts to those who enter them We will continue to seek to forgive as we have been forgiven We will continue to love in Jesus’ name because you taught us that love conquers all

[All] We declare our love for you, our Sisters We declare our love for you, our Brothers We declare our love for you, their families We declare our love as one body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism We declare they do not grieve alone today

The recording also features the honoring of Fathers on their special day, including a wonderful testimony by Chris Schofield.

Withrow Family Murray
Withrow Family Murray

And the music interns bring us a special composition: Christ is alive! Let christians sing, an old hymn set to their new tune and arrangement.

Christ is alive! Let Christians sing. The cross stands empty to the sky. Let streets and homes with praises ring. Love, drowned in death, shall never die.

Christ is alive! No longer bound to distant years in Palestine, but saving, healing, here and now, and touching every place and time.

Not throned above, remotely high, untouched, unmoved by human pains, but daily, in the midst of life, our Savior with the Father reigns.

In every insult, rift, and war where color, scorn or wealth divide, Christ suffers still, yet loves the more, and lives, where even hope has died.

Women and men, in age and youth, can feel the Spirit, hear the call, and find the way, the life, the truth, revealed in Jesus, freed for all.

Christ is alive, and comes to bring good news to this and every age, till earth and sky and ocean ring with joy, with justice, love, and praise.

Pastor Doug brings us to the Lord's table, and Pastor Don focuses our hearts on the Lord in a message.

2 Timothy 3:1-6, 12, 14-17 (ESV)

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,...

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,...

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned itand how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Acts 2: 17,18,21

And in the last days it shall be, God declares,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,   and your young men shall see visions,   and your old men shall dream dreams;even on my male servants and female servants   in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy....

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.