Welcome to our e-news! Read below for prayer requests, thoughts, and information on our life together as a burgeoning church in and for Austin.
Forty percent. That’s the percentage of psalms that have been classified as songs or poems of lament. This proportion is not often reflected in our contemporary songbooks or actions in worship. We often emphasize the exultation and praise in our worship. This can have a detrimental effect.
The psalms of lament contain some of the rawest language in Scripture. They serve as a reminder that God, the Father of Jesus, invites our expressions of longing and sadness, even in their most vulnerable form. God is big enough to handle it. When we avoid lament we obscure this truth about God.
Lament is also necessary as it invites us into genuine and authentic praise. Rather than “putting on a happy face” or mustering up the correct “happy-clappy” emotions, lament allows us to enter into our suffering and sadness, meet the living God there, and emerge in true joy and praise, reflective of that encounter with God.
This coming Sunday, the last before Christ the King Sunday, we will have a specific time for lament. Using art, music, and stillness, we will take some time to bring our longings and grief before our God and generous good. On Christ the King Sunday, the 25th, we will celebrate Christ’s rule and reign, this Sunday we will acknowledge all those places where we hunger and desire to see that reign come more fully. In preparation for worship I’d encourage you to take time to reflect on what you might bring before the Lord.
One particular sadness of this Sunday is that this will be the last Sunday the Watsons are with us before their departure for Canada and service at local church there. We’ll have a time in worship to thank and bless Mike and Carol, and we’ll also have a time on Sunday evening at the Parish House to celebrate them. See details below, and please consider dropping by and bringing a card expressing your thanks to the Watsons for their time and ministry among us. Mike and Carol also wrote this letter outlining something of what they'll be doing.
Lastly, this Sunday following worship we’ll be having a Lunch and Learn on the Anglican church's teachings on marriage. In many ways this is a companion piece to the sermon last week, I’d encourage you to sign up below and come out for it!
Grace and peace,