This past Sunday, my family and I entered a dimly lit sanctuary surrounded by complete silence. The priest gently greeted us, chimed a bell, then we sat in silence with the entire congregation for 5 minutes. Each year before Christ the King Sunday (which comes right before the Advent season), our church has a Lament Service. It’s a space where we’re invited to cry out to God for ourselves and those around us and those in the world who are doubting or hurting. I found myself saying things to God like, “When are you coming back? Your word says things come together for our good and that we are here for your glory. Where is the good? Where is your glory? How much longer must we endure evil in this world before you return to make all things new? You say you will return – why not now?”
It’s a time where we trust that God can handle our questions, our doubting, our anger, our disbelief. A time where we remember His heart is breaking too and He is still with us, and we get ready to prepare our hearts for hope.
Towards the end of the service, those who were ready to open up to hope walked to the front to light a candle while the following lyrics, by Andy Gullahorn, were sung softly in the background:
What are we supposed to do
In the wake of a loss so devastating
It’s getting hard to move
Paralysis sets in where hope is fading
And sometimes all this pain and sadness
Is more than a heart can handle
But I’m tired of cursing at the darkness
I’m gonna light a candle
This has been a difficult year for many in our CCNI family, experiencing set backs, lack of direction, and tragic losses of loved ones. In this Advent season, light a candle and with anticipation remember – He is coming.
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. – Matthew 24:27
Jenny Karr, CPLC
About the Author:
Jenny has been a fundraising coach with Tailored Fundraising Solutions for the last five years serving people in ministry – whether that be individual missionaries or non-profit leaders looking to fund the ministries God has given them.
Jenny and her family served as missionaries in SE Asia from 2012-2014 where she got an up-close look at the danger of missionaries being left to fend for themselves.
Her mission is to train, equip, and support people in ministry and she has a particular passion for working with people in transition or those starting or growing their business.
Jenny has volunteered on the CCNI Board since October 2017 and currently serves at President.
Outside of work, Jenny enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband and teenage daughter in their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.