Sermon Series: Good Grief
Experiencing loss is one of the hardest things people face. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of a dream you once had; the result can be a time of extended grief. Sometimes as Christians we may be tempted to think that we shouldn’t grieve. Or at least, it should be brief. But over the next four weeks we’ll look together at God’s teaching in scripture that helps us to understand that grieving can be good for our soul. Good Grief brings healing. Guided by scripture and the work the work of Kenneth C. Haugk, the founder of Stephen Ministries, we will face our grief and embrace the healing that comes from Jesus.
February 6 – A Time to Grieve
All loss is personal and unique. Therefore, there is no “one way” to grieve. What does unite all of us is the need to allow ourselves the time to grieve. We sometimes ask, “how long?” How long will we feel this way? How long until the pain leaves? The psalmist joins in our cry, asking God, “how long, O Lord?”
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
February 13- Experiencing Grief
Grief is a journey. As we walk through the days, months, and years after a loss we realize all the little things that are now different. Birthdays, Christmas, even going to church without them, all feels different. We so often pray for a return to normal, but experiencing the difference is part of the journey.
he Divine Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;[a]
3 he restores my soul.[b]
He leads me in right paths[c]
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely[e] goodness and mercy[f] shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.[g]
February 20 – Finding Hope and Healing
The grief never goes away, but the intensity of the pain will change. There is hope and healing on the other side of loss. And the good news is that there are practices we can do to point our souls to the source of the healing. Other have walked this journey before and have left signposts to guide our way.
10 For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
February 27 – Rebuilding and Remembering
Memories can often bring back a flood of emotions. We may want to forget, so as to shield ourselves from the pain. But in God’s own time, the memories can begin to bring peace rather than pain. The wound of a loss can heal, even through it leaves a scar. And one day we can look on the scar and remember with gratitude the healing that God brought.
13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.