Subscribe
This week’s Announcements
Plan Your Visit
Connect with us
Request Prayer
TRANSCRIPT
Text is automatically produced. Errors may be present.

I love it good morning everyone thank you for braving the snow this morning it’s great to see you here man we just have such an amazing staff of people here uh they threw this together um just you know on very short notice Aaron and the team just working together and then you have people like dan who doesn’t bring technical skills like for this kind of thing but brings that silky smooth voice over and everything so it’s just like I just I’m amazed at the team that we have in place and we’re going to move into this series called directions uh which takes seriously that change is difficult when things change man we get thrown off at times it also takes grief seriously and we’re going to walk through some of those different aspects of grief but before we get into that I just wanted to give you just a quick update because we’ve had some

questions this week just about how some of the different news articles about coronavirus affect what’s going on with church with south with different things so just to walk you through really quickly um we will be talking through some of this as a staff and a team that we put together to to do the whole reentry thing over the next week but right now what we are leaning into is this right now we’re going to stay doing what we’re doing and let me explain why uh this week the governor uh gave an announcement and said that they were asking us to reduce in-person gatherings um for sort of personal gatherings family gatherings the whole point of that was to enable things like churches to continue doing what they were doing at the level that would they were doing it so right now Arapahoe county is in what’s called level one which enables us in a

building this size to have a gathering of up to 125 people in this room if masks are in place and things like that so that’s what we’re going to continue to do that’s what the government said that we could do and we’re going to stick with that now at the same time some of you may have heard there was a federal court case where a uh uh church in Denver took the state of Colorado to court and said well we don’t think it’s right that you should mandate masks in worship and that case was successful so then one of the other questions was well are we just going to throw out everything that we’re doing and the answer is no we’re not we’re going to try and walk this line in between what we think is is sensible and what we think is right and and here’s the thing in doing that we won’t always get it right we’re going to try and keep

functioning healthily while also trying to do what is safe for people to enable as many people to join us in for in-person worship as we can right now now even for me personally just walking through that there’s this line that I’m always trying to figure out in the guidelines for the state of Colorado there’s a provision for being a religious officiant that you don’t have to wear a mask but every time I come into this building for Sunday worship I have this line of wool when am I a religious officiant when am I not a religious offician am I a religious officiant when greeting you at the door am I one when standing on stage am I one that’s in worship and and so many of those things they leave you with this sense of like tension to be honest it would be easier for me and our staff and our teams if the government just said do this do this to this and we just

did it but we’re also trying to find this line so we appreciate your grace and we appreciate your input as well for some of you you might come to us and say hey we feel like that we’re not being strict enough and we need to hear that from you because we won’t always know we want you to feel like you can come to your home community and be in worship as much as possible for some of you you’ll feel this tension of I am so sick of this thing can you guys just move on already and and we need to hear that from you as well the thing is when we hear from you that doesn’t mean we’ll just be able to do exactly what you want to do we’ll have to figure out this line of what works but we’re trying to do that with this sense of loving our neighbor and loving our community really well so hopefully that helps you understand some of what we’re working

through as a team and we just appreciate the grace that you’ve shown so far you you have all been wonderful and and so two directions here we go experiencing God in change man 2020 has been a year already right it was a year back somewhere in April it fell and now it’s still continuing someone said the other day I think that this is march 317th or something like that we just feel like we’ve been stuck in this moment if it’s always march and when you see articles like murder hornets arriving on the west coast of America you start to question like wow how is this thing gonna turn out is it going to all be okay in the end and in amongst that haven’t every one of us experienced different levels of change uh different levels of loss uh I found this sign I don’t know how clearly you can see it I tried to make it big enough but someone put up

gravestones for Halloween of things that they were mourning uh concerts had gone festivals had gone specifically these people in this house whoever they were were grieving mike’s Hawaii trip not everyone’s trip just mike’s apparently this trip was going to be so good that even people that weren’t going on it are sad that it no longer uh is happening and and then sanity as well a few days ago the uh astrophysicist neil degrasse tyson said that uh apparently the day before election a giant asteroid could crash into the earth and everyone went well that makes sense in 2020 I am not surprised that it was going to happen it’s been that sense of like ah change is everywhere and change is difficult change is difficult when you are sort of on board with it when you know it’s coming I just thought through some of my life changes uh I thought

through what it was to go from being single to being married going through this change from like doing whatever I wanted all the time to suddenly have somebody else that wanted to say in that that was difficult even though I was fully on board with it and then I remember like having uh our first kid and if you have a question like this is like eight years ago have you and Laura changed at all in all of these years we haven’t really particularly we still look pretty much the same we have this vampiric gene I think it just you know just everything stays normal so I thought about just the change I remember the day I took our first child Elena home we actually because we’re those type of people we took her straight from the hospital to my parents house there was about 50 people gathering for my brother’s birthday and she got passed around all

these different people and then I remember the moment where I got a home and then suddenly it became real I was like oh this thing isn’t going away she’s here for good and now she screams when she doesn’t get what she wants the change is difficult and I remember going from one to two and then suddenly there was no peace like in the old way you got to pass her off and say hey you know I’m done for a while and now suddenly it was always like you know one to one and then I remember the change when Jude came along and suddenly we moved from like the famous saying we go from man-to-man coverage to zone defense like you’ve always got more than you can handle you are officially outnumbered uh and then there’s the the question of do you have a fourth one and the theory is once you’ve had three four doesn’t

make any difference but I have no desire to test that theory right now I remember listening to jim gaffigan the comedian talk about what is it like to have four kids and he said imagine that you’re drowning and then somebody hands you a baby and that is like this like moment the reason we caught judas because it’s as close to the book of revelation as you can get and we’re like this is like the end we’re done um change is difficult when you plan for it and then it’s perhaps more difficult when you don’t plan for it think about what change can include I’m going to throw in all these different things it can include the grief of loss and we’ll get to that in a moment it can include an event that just came out of nowhere and hit you like a freight train and one of the things it seems to do is it seems to pull us out of the normal time of things we

we feel like we’ve been grabbed and all of our forward motion has been stopped this picture was the best I could if I find to explain uh the story I’m about to tell you a few months ago my youngest daughter my oldest daughter Elena was trying to jump from the deck to the ground which explains something about her personality that’s just how she does she she wants to go and she goes and so she jumped off the deck and as she jumped the back of her shorts hooked onto one of the hooks for holding plants on the deck you know one of the things that just hangs off the edge and she suddenly found herself just suspended in midair completely unable to help herself completely unable to move she was there and she was just hanging and I’m torn in this like fatherly sort of like sense of do I leave her there long enough to get a photo or a video or do

I feel the need to help her down before the hook gives way and breaks and I went with the safe option I I just helped it down but it was this moment of just watching her dangling there and it was wonderfully hilarious but at the same time isn’t that how we feel sometimes in the moment of change sometimes something happens to us and we feel like we’ve been hit and hit by a freight train we feel like it’s like that cow that’s running away and someone lassos and all of its forward motion stops and it collapses to the floor those are just some of the ways that I might articulate how we experience change so we’re going to tap into this story from the old testament and we’re going to watch a community go through change and recognize that we are a community going through change we’re going to talk about the idea that that can cause grief

it can cause a sense of loss and that also while it’s a community thing can be a very individual thing as well what happens when we encounter change the story we’re about to look into is a story from about three and a half thousand years ago it’s a story of a community that a guy called Moses has led out of a land called Egypt now it’s it’s hard for us to put into any sense like just how significant this story was unless you can imagine yourself as a group of people that have lived for generation after generation in a nation that isn’t their own where they have no rights no freedom where they’re completely under the control of somebody else perhaps the only story that we have to help us understand uh in modern terms is the story of African black nations in slavery in the western world in britain in America and things like that this group of

people these Israelite nation they have been there for 400 years at the point where we’re going to get into the story think about what that’s done to them all of their cultural history has started to disappear they’re in this land called called Egypt where they are told to just produce and to produce and to produce where they have no freedom and then imagine what it feels like for that people to be rescued by somebody to be pulled out this guy called Moses appears and says that he has heard from God and his job is to bring them out into this new promised land and then incredibly he does it Moses stands up to pharaoh this ruler of this other world and and pharaoh blinks first pharaoh backs down yes it’s God behind the scenes that’s doing it we understand that story from from our perspective but imagine what it felt like to those people

God didn’t seem to do anything till Moses turned up and then for these people this guy Moses he takes them and he pulls them out of this other nation and he takes them into this new land and they stand on a mountain in this land that is free and God speaks to them as a whole group of people but they’re terrified hearing God is a scary thing there’s only a couple of times in history sociologically where a whole people group claim to hear from God and so this group of people they say this God don’t speak to us speak through Moses let him be the one that tells us what he needs to tell us and we’ll be happy with that they find this thing that I would call orientation this uh theologian walter brueggemann talks about this process of orientation and a couple of other things that will follow it but they find this place where they’re like okay

everything is normal everything is good we’re going into this new land and this this guy is hearing from God and he’s speaking to us and all is well and then what does it feel like for this community at the point we’re about to enter for suddenly this guy to no longer be around suddenly he’s going to disappear so this is the passage we’re going to tap into today this is deuteronomy chapter 34 if you want to look at in your text we’re going to go through the whole passage um but here we go then Moses climbed mount nebu from the plains of moab to the top of pisgah across from jericho there the lord showed in the whole land from gilead to dan all of naftali the territory of ephraim and manasseh all the land of Judah as far as the mediterranean sea the negev and the whole region from the valley of jericho and the city of

palms as far as zoar if you don’t know where all those places are it’s absolutely okay but it’s a big piece of promised land that these people are going to move into then the lord said to them this is the land I promised on oath to abraham Isaac and jacob when I said I will give it to your descendants I have let you see it with your eyes but you will not cross over into it and Moses the servant of the lord died there in moab as the lord had said he buried him in moab in the valley opposite bethport but to this day no one knows where his grave is Moses was 120 years old when he died his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone the israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of moab 30 days until the time of weeping and mourning was over so multiple times in this people’s history this man this hero has gone up to a mountain to hear from God

and every time he’s come back down and the journey is continued until suddenly he goes up the mountain and he doesn’t come down the whole story is set up to just tell us how how unexpected this is Moses was 120 years old when he died yet his eyes were not weak and his strength was not gone for this community there’s this sense of oh this guy is going to be around for a while and then suddenly he’s not around anymore there’s this change that takes place and anytime you experience change there is loss and loss brings this sense of grief part of the reason I think this story is so important for those of you that have been at south for a while we are a community that is experiencing change I’ve been here just a few short weeks there was a year where there was no pastor and a staff that did an amazing job filling in on an interim level

and then before that there was Ryan and he was here for seven years and there was a sense for many of you that things were great but then before Ryan there was somebody else that was brad and for a season maybe that was great as well and there’s all of this history that goes back and back and back and yet you’ve experienced this sense of what it is for a leader that you thought oh maybe he’ll be here for years and suddenly he’s not here I just thought it would be a really cool prank if uh if I just said in the midst of that hey it’s not really working out I’m moving on I was like wow I just got here but it wouldn’t be funny um it was funny in my head as lots of things when you experience that change you go into this process that that wallah brugerman in his triad would call disorientation you go into disorientation now you may have a question am I

saying that word correctly because I believe in America you might say disoriention or it’s not disorientating it’s disorienting I’m not sure but I’m not sure you’re saying it right I’m sure I am saying it right we are in this time of disorientation what is disorientation the best way I can describe it is a feeling I grew up occasionally trying to surf on the southwest coast of England and occasionally going on trips to France I was never particularly good but good enough that I could try and get into some bigger waves than most people might be comfortable with and I can remember this one time where I came off the board in a wave and I felt this sensation of tumbling suddenly all my perspective of what is up what he’s down has done I’m just there and I’m just hovering and time seems to have slowed down and I’m waiting for that moment where

I can get back to the surface but just as I do this other wave comes across and I’m pulled back down under and I’m turning over and over again and then you’re back to the surface and you can get caught in these series of waves for six seven waves and you’re just waiting for enough of a break and your breath slowly is becoming less and less and less like present within you that sense of your chest constricting and that uncertainty about when you’ll get back to the surface that’s disorientation that’s that sense of like ah am I gonna get out of this which way is up which way is down because there’s no ocean in Denver those of you that are locals maybe a snowstorm or something is a better example but you hear stories about people getting caught in avalanches and they’re so disorientated that up and down become terms that no longer

make sense the way that you figure out where you are is you you actually allow some spit to form in your mouth and you create a space and if the spit falls then that’s down and if it doesn’t then it’s up but eventually like there’s this sense of like I just I’m not sure where I am that’s what I think this community that we’re looking at here is going through and I would expect that for some of you when you lost a leader of this community here I expect there was some sense of that as well this process of change can be disorienting I would extend that sentence change is loss and loss brings grief and grief is disorientating for those of you that have experienced personal grief there’s that sense of ah I feel like time stopped and I’m not sure where I am anymore we’ll get into some of that in a few moments grief and and change and loss it’s

something that organizations all over the world struggle with it’s not unique to churches so sales drop in up to 60 up to 60 in companies that suddenly lose a ceo a large number of organizations don’t survive the loss of the person that founded it think about a few years ago apple computers to be able to go through what they went through where Steve jobs suddenly this guy that had created absolute magic and his products had taken over the world suddenly isn’t there and it becomes this question of like can apple survive that now on the surface the sails have continued but actually stories that come out of apple repeatedly are the culture just isn’t the same anymore we’re no longer the creative force that we once were we’re just surviving on products that come from our past we don’t have that same aura that we used to

have Steve jobs just had this presence so for organizations as this sense of lust and here’s the last one the most challenging time in the life of a faith community is the loss of its founder what happens when that person isn’t there anymore this is what this group this Moses community is walking through can we survive this do we even bother keeping on going do we just go back to Egypt and just say that the whole project was just wasn’t worth it there’s this land that apparently we’ve been promised this promised land but do we go or do we just stay what does the future look like for us that sense of like change it means loss and loss means grief and grief is disorientating it leaves you in that sense like my daughter Elena I’m hanging on a hook and I’m not sure what comes next it’s an organizational thing but it’s also an individual thing as well

and some of you are people that are well acquainted with grief you’ve been through this sense of ah I feel so lost right now it comes when we experience the death of a loved one when we experience what it is for someone to no longer be with us physically but they feel like they’re still with us spiritually or emotionally it feels like their presence is still in the building I remember when my uncle passed away one of the the most sort of painful losses to me still he was still fairly young and I remember what it was to to lose him I remember what it was to walk through that process of his sickness I by nature I’m an enneagram seven for you any grand people out there by nature I hate pain and I hate negative emotions and I try and avoid them all costs so when I found out my uncle was sick I didn’t go visit him for several months and I

remember the moment that I walked into the room because my mom said he’s not going to be around much longer you should go visit him and I remember walking into the room and seeing this little old man sat in a corner and to give you some perspective my uncle was the most charismatic man that I have ever met in my life he was as the irish would say a man you don’t meet every day he had this aura to him whenever he walked into a room people paid attention and and seeing this little old man in the corner and realizing that that was my uncle and what he looked like now was the beginning of this sense of grief and I remember what it was when people said to my aunt well he’s still with you really and then this question of like ah but does that help what it was for her to feel stuck in this disorientating moment of ah he still feels like he’s here but he isn’t here anymore divorce or separation caused that same sense of grief

maybe not as profound as as a death but there’s that sense of ah it’s just not normal now I feel like I’ve caught I’m caught up in the suspension of time and sickness as well does the same thing there’s a great article by a guy called tony billings who talks about his experience as a pastor and a father and what it meant for him to get a terminal cancer diagnosis and he said the most challenging part was all of my expectations of what was normal were now gone we have this framework for what a normal life equals we expect to go through the rituals of marriage we expect to go into giving birth to children probably and we expect to have grandchildren one day and suddenly when that is called into question everything becomes difficult we feel very disorientated very lust but let’s just make it a little more light-hearted

because it’s not all of those deep profound things actually grief happens anytime we lose something that we value in little ways grief happens every time we lose something that we value I found this article just lurking around on the internet giving birth during coronavirus something has been stolen from us this person sketches out what it is to have a child during this era and to to have a partner that wasn’t able to be present with them at the birth to have a child that after five six months still hasn’t been hugged by its grandparents there’s a loss there as well and you can think about anything in your life over this year that you’ve lost a graduation ceremony the chance to go and watch your kids walk across the stage to the chance to walk across a stage for yourself income from a job a job itself there are so many things that in this

weird 2020 that we might have lost and our temptation can be to say well we should just get over it but actually loss changes loss and loss is grief and grief is disorientating and the process of coming through grief can take years and very rarely takes place because we avoid it enneagram sevens do not get through grief well change is loss and lust brings grief and grief is disorientating so some questions to help us as we kind of navigate through this what do we do or what should we do when we encounter change so I’m going to give you a couple of things that hopefully will help you at some point in your life some of you may go through grief for years some of you may be grieving right now some of you will not go through serious grief grief for some time and yet hopefully these principles will help us as we look backwards and in a

couple of weeks that are following we’re going to start to do this thing where after looking backwards we’ll begin to look upwards and ask where is God in the midst of that grief and and then we’ll finally start to take those steps forward and we’ll talk about what that means for us as a community but I want us to start by taking the looking back part seriously grieving well involves looking backwards when you experience grief first thing I would say is this take your time to lament it’s okay to not be okay it’s okay to say I am not all right right now a tendency can be to say I’m fine everything’s good but it is okay to not be okay I think that the I’m gonna put that back there I think that people from uh back in history they were better at this process of lament than we were I think they were willing to take their time to say oh this affected me

profoundly I thought about that song that we just sang great is thy faithfulness the words are amazing great is thy faithfulness oh God our father there is no shadow of turning with me it talks about how God’s mercies are new every morning but have you ever taken the time to go and read where that comes from it comes from this book called lamentations and this is chapter three that those verses are buried right within think about some of these verses as you think about those spectacular verses I am a man who has seen affliction by the rod of the lord’s wrath he has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light he has made my skin and my flesh grow old he has broken my bones he has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship he has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead he has

walled me in so I cannot escape he has weighed me down with chains even when I call out or cry for help he shuts out my prayer he has barred my way with blocks of stone he has made my paths crooked he has broken my teeth with gravel he has trampled me in the dust I have been deprived of peace I have forgotten what prosperity is so I say my splendor is gone and all that I hoped from the lord I remember my affliction and my wandering the bitterness and the gall I will remember them and my soul is downcast within me yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope and this is where he starts to move into like the good part of the part we sing all the time but that good part that party sings is based on being able to sing his sense of lament for the first is before that that sense of ah everything isn’t okay and people rarely are able to do

that today when we need to lament we have to look to poets and people that seem better at it than we are this is a wh orden a poet from 60 70 years ago read these words this is a guy that knows how to lament he was my north my south my east and west my working week my Sunday rest my noon my midnight my talk my song I thought that love would last forever I was wrong the stars are not wanted now put out everyone pack up the moon and dismantle the sun pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood for nothing now can ever come to any good this is a man who is embracing lament our tendency as western people I think is to move very quickly from that sense of lament to that sense of everything is fine and yet history tells us some people from oh tell us that actually taking the time to say no I’m not okay is actually one

of the healthiest things you can do to acknowledge how change has affected you is a positive thing to recognize that you have lost something in a change whether it’s an organizational change like south has been through whether it’s a personal change like you might be going through or will goof go through at some point in your life to be able to say that change has affected me and I am hurt and I am angry is a good thing to realize that you are probably shaking your fist at somebody even if that is the creator of the universe is a healthy thing and for thousands of years people were able to do that and it seems to me that we’ve lost that ability now today we say unless you’re positive unless you’re upbeat that there’s probably something wrong with you and yet for thousands of years this ability to experience change and

say I am not okay with that was seen as a healthy thing there’s something about reading poets that enable us to do this this is a surrender kirkegaard quote what is a poet an unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them it sounds like lovely music and people flock around the poet and say sing again soon that is may new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before for the cry would only frighten us but the music that is blissful that that quote that w h orden poem that we just read it’s it’s beautiful words it’s well put together that is a guy who’s screaming his pain screaming his emotion as you and I each of us at some point in our life will do in grief it is okay to not be okay the second thing I would say is this uh that may be in a time

of grief and change expect the unexpected we’re we’re told that grief follows a pattern maybe you’ve heard that it they have the different stages of there’s denial and then there’s anger and and dot five stages of grief that we’re supposed to process one of the most helpful things for me was to learn that those five stages that you might read about they don’t happen in a specific order it doesn’t all fit and make sense you may feel like that swirling emotion takes you through all of those five stages in an hour in a day and that is okay as well let’s go back to lamentations for a second think about those positive verses that I just talked about um in verse 22 he says this of chapter three because of the lord’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail they are new every morning great is your faithfulness I say to myself the lord is my

portion therefore I will wait to him for him the lord is good for those whose hope is in him if lamentations was written by a 21st century western person that would be the end of the book we found resolution everything has come back to normal think about how all of our movies end what’s the important thing for a movie to do it’s supposed to end with a positive good ending in 2012 a movie called the master was made with philip seymour hoffman it was an absolute masterpiece and it was not given a nomination for the best Oscar why because the end was tragic and Hollywood forgives everything except one thing Hollywood will only accept a story that has a good ending all of our stories seem to end somehow on a positive note and this one didn’t we demand that the resolution come through at the end and that would be our

resolution but not in lamentations written three thousand years or something ago listen to the end of lamentations slaves rule over us and there is no one to free us from their hands we get our bread at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the desert our skin is as hot as an oven feverish from hunger women have been violated in virgins in the town of Judah princes have been hung up by their hands elders have shown no respect young men toil at the millstone boys stagger under loads of wood the elders are gone from the city gates the young men have stopped their music joy is gone from our hearts our dancing has turned to mourning the crown has fallen from our head woe to us for we have sinned because of this our hearts are faint because of these things our eyes grow dim you lord reign forever you’re thrown in jurors from

generation to generation why do you forget us why do you forsake us for so long restore us to ourselves renew our days as of old unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure that’s a 3 000 year old text finishing with like I’m still there in lament I had this moment where I recognized that God was present but it didn’t just fix everything I went back into this time of I still don’t feel like I can get through I still feel broken I still feel painful the unexpected happens when you’re grieving now let me just say this uh we are doing grief this week if you’re visiting or watching online we are trusting you to join us in lament week it will get more upbeat than this at different points but because of our tendency to rush through for this week it’s important that we choose to sit this will make sense at some time even if it isn’t

now expect the unexpected there is no normal choose to look backwards even though it’s hard in grief learning to look back at what worse actually brings so much value my wife and I love romantic comedies and usually they’re very light and easygoing but sleepless in seattle is this movie that has these moments where you’re like oh you really just got to the deep core of my emotion and I dug out this quote from tom hanks character during this this movie where he’s asked how do you survive what are you doing to get through your grief and he profoundly says this I’m gonna get out of bed every morning breathe in and out all day long and then after a while I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out and then after a while I won’t have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while this

is a character that’s choosing that process of looking backwards of saying ah it was wonderful when you go through a time as an organization experiencing change there is nothing wrong with looking back and saying those years were so good when you go through the change and loss of a different situation individually there is nothing wrong with looking back and saying oh those years were so joyful so wonderful when you lose someone looking back and saying ah it was so good when they were here those are good things the funny thing to me is this that grief and gratitude they seem to hold hands with each other they seem to run very close together and actually our grief is caused by this sense of oh it was great for a while because if it wasn’t

good there’s nothing to grieve if it wasn’t good there’s nothing to grieve this is this group of people working through that process we looked at how Moses was 120 years old when he died yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone the israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of moab 30 days until the time of weeping and mourning was over in Jewish culture there’s this set aside period to take grief seriously it breaks into these three categories there’s an innut which is like this first moment when you lose a loved one and then the shiver which we may have heard of because it’s fairly popular in culture it’s seven days of certain practices that take place and family come around and then there’s this 30 days that take place afterwards called shalotion 30 days where you are allowed to just have space to mourn now you’d think 30 days

seems pretty short it seems like to expect people to move on after 30 days that’s nothing and that’s not really what this is about but this process is actually honors the fact that rarely do people who grieve take 30 days to stop in our culture something about our culture says get up and move on quickly with your life 30 days is like a minimum amount of time and this is sheryl sandberg who’s the ceo of Facebook talking about what that process looked like for her she lost her husband a few years ago tragically he was jogging on a running mill running a treadmill and he fell and hit his head and he died in the ambulance and she talks about her different stages of grief that she processed she talked about her anger in the ambulance at every driver that didn’t move out of the way and stopped the process of her getting to the hospital quickly with her

husband and she talked about how she prayed these desperate one-line prayers like God let me not die while I am still alive but she talks about how taking time 30 days to process a grief enabled her to look backwards at everything that she had had I have lived 30 years in these 30 days I am 30 years sadder and I feel like I am 30 years wiser this is someone who is taking that time to grieve and this is what we’re told this group of people did from with Moses they grieved the loss they grieved the change they allowed that process to hit them life must be lived forwards but it’s understood backwards that’s sauron kirkegaard again you don’t really get sauron kirkegaard twice in a sermon most of the time but it just felt like this profound sense of life must be lived forwards but understood backwards looking back allows us to see the places

that God has been with us what might we see when we look backwards as a community we might see markers of God’s goodness in the past one of the things I love about south is this sense of we are a Jesus community I love our vision of we are living in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus as we look back as a community it’s probable that we should see moments where Jesus has walked that journey with us this place was never about one person it was never about you as important as your role might have been over the years it will never be about me itself it was never about Ryan it was never about brad it was never about anyone who was sat on staff it has always been about Jesus we get to be a Jesus community in the world around us when you look at this Moses community you see that same sense of them finding God marcus in

amongst them even before the story starts to move to some sense of resolution now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away calling it the tent of meeting anyone inquiring of the lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp whenever Moses went out to the tent all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents watching Moses until he entered the tent as Moses went into the tent the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance while the lord spoke with Moses whenever the people saw the pillar of clouds standing at the entrance of the tent they all stood and worshiped each at the entrance of their tent the lord would speak to Moses face to face as juan speaks to a friend then Moses would return to the camp but his young a Joshua son of nun did

not leave the tent this Moses community will transition to be led by this guy Joshua who will take them into this promised land that they were told that they would have and you see when you look back into these old texts this is exodus 33 Moses has been everything that they thought he was he was someone who heard from God and relayed that message to the people he was incredibly important to the life of this community but you see lurking there at the end of that text Joshua was there all the time God knew where the story was going it was just there lurking in the text Joshua did not leave the tent he was there in God’s presence just waiting just waiting for that time where Moses would move on and the story would continue for the people the story was about Moses but it was never really about Moses south is never about alex waldo

brugerman in his triad talks about this orientation then this disorientation and then he talks hopefully about this idea surprising reorientation that moment where at some point you suddenly are like ah God you brought the story around you knew what was happening you were there in the midst of the grief in the midst of the struggle slowly you get to see these markers that say oh God you were moving and now we come towards that sense of where we’ll move over the next couple of weeks where we start to talk about upwards and forwards we talk about that hint that God was there all along this is the beauty of this Jesus story think about the story of Jesus with its tragedy of crucifixion and lament lands us in those couple of days after Jesus death that good Friday and Saturday that we only tend to talk about at easter

time right it lands us in those moments and I’ve always been struck by how profound that Saturday moment is because good Friday there’s all the tragedy of crucifixion but the Saturday’s just blank it’s nothing it’s empty there is no story on Saturday it’s sitting and waiting and it feels empty and in all of that story the tragedy of Friday the the cold sort of numbness of Saturday God is moving he’s moving them towards the joy of resurrection they don’t see it yet but is this moment of surprising reorientation in their story it’s lurking there all the time so as we as a community and you as individuals take grief seriously as we take 2020 seriously I’d love us to land on a couple of questions I’d love you to ask this what have I lost for you as a participant in south over the changes that have taken place what have you lost for you in 2020 with all your

different experiences what have you lost part of processing grief recognizes that you’ve lost something maybe you lost an opportunity to participate in some kind of event maybe it was something as simple as I lost festivals I lost con con conferences maybe you lost mike’s Hawaii trip whoever mike is and why ever he’s sad about it what have you lost but then another question I would have you ask is this how am I thankful whatever you lost what was it about it that was good that might be easy to put a finger on there maybe an absolute sense of course my relationship with this person was good of course this job was good but what is it that you’ve lost and why are you thankful what good gift did God give that was with you for a while what good joy did you carry with you for a while when you process grief knowing how you were

thankful is an important step recognizing what you’ve lost is an important step grief and gratitude they seem to sit hand in hand with each other you grieve because you’ve lost something good over this week one of the things I’d encourage you to do is to tap into our daily team devotions we walk through this process you can find them online and it’s this slower process of being able to look every day and take the lament seriously we will not lament well today the broncos are on there’s other things to watch there’s good things to do the snow to play and there’s excitement for the new winter season skis are there to be sharpened whatever it is that you do I’m not expecting you to lament or weak but my encouragement is this to take those two questions seriously and over this week as we’ve prepared to look upwards as a

community and ask where is God in our midst now look to the past and say why am I thankful and what have I lost in your individual life ask what have I lost why am I thankful and do it repeatedly and pray that God speaks to you in that process speak to our hearts amen