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Worship and Belief in Tragedy


I’ve written before about my conviction that we should mean the words we utter to God.  I’ve shared that when I’m in a worship service, I try to think about and to mean each word.  I don’t sing words that I don’t mean; that means sometimes I keep my mouth shut in worship.

Today I’m making myself form the words with my mouth.  I’m making myself sing words that I know to be true.  Even though tears stream down my face.  Even though it is hard to say them.

Today, we gather to mourn and to grieve the tragic loss of life, especially of life so young.

And I’m making myself say, “Holy.  You are holy.”

And even more difficult, “It is well with my soul.  Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well with my soul.’”

I’m intentional about what I wear when I’m part of leading my church in worship.  My clothing choice today is intentional.  I’m wearing a shirt today that reads, “I wanna believe.”  (It’s a Christmas shirt that actually refers to Santa.)  But today, I’m choosing to wear it to worship with some words from the Bible in mind,  “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

I do believe.  I wanna believe.  Holy God, help my unbelief.






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