people in your church are still reeling from the September 11 tragedy,
school shootings, summer fires in the West, summer flooding in the
Midwest, or crises of a more personal nature, a worship service
focused on moving beyond tragedy can allow God to soothe and heal
raw nerves and emotions.
are elements of a tragedy and triumph worship service.
Romans 8:17-28, a brief, yet remarkable and hopeful message on what
awaits those who endure suffering. God comforts us in our troubles,
promises 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, and desires for us to comfort others
who are suffering. Our sufferings also a way God reveals himself
to the world through us, proclaims 2 Corinthians 4. Using these
and other Scripture passages as part of your services will let worshipers
know that God identifies with their suffering, and that theres
a bigger purpose to it than the pain it causes.
the 21st century, we dont use the word petition
much when it comes to prayer. But when people are suffering, its
a perfect time to revive the depth that word entails. Ask God to
heal individuals hearts when theyre hurting or bitter,
for his will to be done in tragic situations, for understanding
and reconciliation, for forgiveness, for trusting God when its
hard to understand why something happens, and for spiritual growth
in individuals and in your church.
the kings of Israel and Judah asked the prophet Elisha for his prophecy
about a battle, he first answered, bring me a harpist
(2 Kings 3:15). Who knows why, except that perhaps the soothing
notes moved him closer to God. Music has a wonderful way of calming
and leading people into worship, even if theyre feeling bitter
about their circumstances. Choose choruses and hymns that focus
on Gods love, resting in his care, and enjoying his presence.
owns the ultimate victory! As his children, we can live in anticipation
of Christs return and eternal life: Then the saying
that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up
in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where,
O death, is your sting? (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).
SupperRemember that Jesus instituted this covenant as
a way to remember him the night before he faced his own suffering
(Luke 22:15). Place a different emphasis on your observance of the
Lords Supper, thanking him for his redemptive work on the
cross, and for making his followers part of his plansuffering
the early church, the arts were an integral part of worship, and
creativity has once again become an important aspect of society.
Allow people to express their thoughts and feelings about crisis
through various mediums of art that can be displayed throughout
your building. Use the theme of moving beyond tragedy as your guideline.