Before the Session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Have the video of the St. Olaf Choir ready to view and hear.
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
- Have pens, pencils, crayons and paper available.
Read together Lamentations 3:22-32 and watch the Bible Background Video.
Say: The people who wrote the book of Lamentations were in a lot of pain. A foreign country invaded their land and destroyed Jerusalem and their temple,and took many of their friends and family members as prisoners. The book of Lamentations reveals their pain, but also their hope that — if they waited — God would again restore them.
Sharing with God
Ask: How do we express our pain and grief? How do we find hope in the midst of misery and suffering?
Say: After World War II, a poem was found in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The words are:
I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining.
I believe in love, even when I feel it not.
I believe in God, even when He is silent.
Then show this video of the St. Olaf Choir singing “Even When He is Silent” (a 6 minute presentation). For the first hearing, ask the participants to listen for the phrase that most speaks to them.
Play the video again, but this time, make available pens, pencils and paper (even crayons, if you wish). During the second hearing, invite the participants to sketch, draw or write something relating to or expressive of the phrase that most spoke to them.
After the second hearing of the song, invite the participants to share their thoughts, writings or sketches, along with explanations.
Close by viewing and sharing in this prayer. It was offered at the 2015 General Assembly of the CBF (cbf.net), a few days after the shooting in Charleston, SC.
There was much loss from this act of hatred and violence. In the face of such suffering, we call to God, who knows the pain of these families, and this congregation.
The prayer is given by Kasey Jones, Senior Pastor, National Baptist Memorial Church in Washington DC.