Joy and sorrow are two sides of the same koinonia. I am grateful to Rev. Dr. LL Kroouze DuBreuil for the gift or sharing this litany as a part of this Advent week of joy. It could be a part of a longest night or Blue Christmas service or even more appropriately — not segregated but experienced n the shared Sunday worship. Maren
ONE: The Psalmist assures us: “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
ALL: We are not ready to hear about joy. We are in the middle of a dark night. We call out to God to sit with us and comfort us.
ONE: Jesus spoke words of assurance to the crowds: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
ALL: We do not feel blessed right now. We feel alone in a crowd. We ask only that Jesus stay with us and keep us company.
ONE: Jesus reassured his disciples: “Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.”
ALL: We cannot imagine letting go of this pain. The world seems so giddy right now, and it deepens our anguish. We need our Savior to share our pain and weep with us.
ONE: Let us turn to the one who will share our mourning and listen to our sorrow:
ALL: Tonight, this night, we need the presence of our Savior. We need to be held in the love of our God. We cannot imagine that the morning will come. We are not ready to embrace the joy of the world.
Come to us, O Spirit of Peace. Hold us in your arms of stillness. Surround us with the assurance of your understanding. Spend this mournful night with us. Carry us into your morning of blessing. Amen.
Sources: (Psalm 30: 5b; Matthew 5:4; John 16: 20)
Composed by Rev. Dr. LL Kroouze DuBreuil, December 2019
Permission granted to copy and freely use
I tag along with LL with a Riff on Isaiah 40:1-5 (amazingly good company) I just wrote also for a Longest night, Blue Christmas Service.
A Conversation with Isaiah (Isaiah 40 :1-5 with or without reading of the text)
Isaiah: “Comfort, O comfort my people,”
says your God.
Modern Day Reader (MDR): Excuse me, Isaiah,
Does that mean … don’t just pray
for God to do the comforting,
but do something myself?
How can I comfort someone else,
who experiences a pain, a sadness, a loss
I can only guess at?
How can I comfort someone else,
when some mornings
I can hardly drag myself out of bed?
And, even if I try, won’t that drain away
my own store of self-comforting?
Isaiah: Speak tenderly.
MDR: That’s all I have to do?
I don’t need to have all the answers
to their problems,
a sweet religious quotation
about heaven or something
that will heal every terrible grief
(or make it feel guilty),
advice for hard decisions
or the reconciling of families?
Just “speak tenderly” —
that’s too easy … and too hard.
Isaiah: Start with — listen tenderly.
MDR: (quiet………………….) How was that?
Isaiah: A voice cries out —
In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
MDR: What about the valley of opioid addiction?
What about the twisted road of racial profiling?
What about the deadly desert
where asylum seekers die?
And who’s going to restore civil discourse
to the wilderness of American politics?
Isaiah: A voice cries …
but it would be easier with two voices.
MDR: Like mine?
Isaiah: Like yours —
doing our best to offer comfort.
And … then, as I said a long, long time ago —
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together.
MDR: Couldn’t I just stand in Wallingford Square
and hand out light therapy boxes
for everyone with Seasonal Affect Disorder?
Isaiah: Try the other way.
Take it from an old prophet —
I think you can be the shine.