20 March 2011
The Second Sunday in Lent
Sasha Adkins has taken time from an environmental science Phd program studies to participate in the Servant Leadrship School’s Discipleship Year. Sasha left for a summer exchange program to Japan three days after turning 15, and a few months later returned to attend high school for a year in Hiroshima. Since then, Sasha has lived in Okayama and Tokyo, and considers Japan a second home. Not being able to reach loved ones there and not being able to ascertain their safety or whereabouts as the tragedy unfolds leaves Sasha wondering about how, as Christians, we deal with grief. This summarizes the sermon Sasha brought to Seekers Church:
Our culture tends to reward stoicism and enable a collective psychic numbing. As people of faith, I believe we have a place in sanctifying mourning and creating ritual around it. Many of the most moving passages from the Bible are laments (such as David mourning his son Absalom, David mourning Saul and Jonathan, Job bewailing his misery, Rachel weeping for her children murdered by Herod, and the Israelites in exile grieving for Zion). Though some Christians argue that if we only had enough faith, we’d trust God’s plan for us and not feel sad, Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend, Lazarus before he called him back from the dead. Mary Magdalene, the only mourner left at Christ’s tomb, was the first to see him risen. Grieving appears to be a necessary and liminal space to move through between death and resurrection.