I've known many people in my life who have suffered from depression. Some of them were going through some seriously difficult circumstances while others were dealing with brain chemistry imbalances which needed to be addressed. Most of them, thankfully, were able to get past the overwhelming feelings of despair, but not all of them. In a few cases, they gave up all hope and took their own lives.
Life as broken people living in a broken world will include pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Even for those who follow Jesus, there are times in which we feel as if we've been abandoned. It's a times like this when God's Word is a real gift to us. Not only are there encouraging messages and promises that can refocus our eyes on God's presence and the hope we have in Him, but there are also books like Lamentations which can help us find solidarity in our distress.
The Israelites went through horrific suffering at the hands of the Babylonians and, even though they had been warned that this punishment was coming because of their rebellion against God, it was beyond what they could bear. Jeremiah witnessed it all and puts the pain into words. Some of it is hard to read, and we may feel tempted to look away. However, the fact that God meets us in our pain - and even shares in it - makes a world of difference. And the five poems of lament which make up the book help us remember that we're not alone in our pain.
This Sunday, February 23rd, we'll be continuing in our IMMERSE: POETS series by considering chapter 3 of Lamentations. I hope you're joining us on this reading journey, but take the time to read and reflect on this passage in preparation.
Another wonderful resource for understanding Lamentations is the animated overview of the book found on Right Now Media and on Youtube. Here are the links to it:
Is Your Fruit Fresh?
Our adult Sunday School class is looking at the Fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23. Each week we'll be focusing on one of these nine characteristics that God promises to produce in our lives through the Holy Spirit. Why don't you join us at 9:45 AM prior to worship for a lively conversation and some honest assessment of just how much growth is taking place in our lives.
Hele mei hoohiwahiwa (come celebrate) at the Luau Potluck!
Don't miss out on our big "beat the winter blahs" Luau Potluck and Party coming up on LEAP DAY (Saturday, February 29th). Not only will be enjoy some great food, but there will be plenty of fun and games for all ages!
One of our values as a congregation is building inter-generational relationships and what better way to do that than to laugh and play together?! After all, we are all ohana (family). So break out your tropical outfit and join us for a memorable evening together! Ho'olu komo la kaua (please join us)!
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church