The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Sad stuff

During worship we need to lament, confess and to plead

Kellie was in confirmation class and had experienced rough things in her life. The death of a sibling. The divorce of parents. So I shouldn’t have been surprised by her answer. In addition to asking students about last Sunday’s sermon—threatening and risky for any pastor—I also habitually asked about the service.

What was the color for the day?


Who was included in the prayers?

Millie, Frank, the president.

What did you not like about the service?

The sad stuff.

Kellie didn’t like the sad stuff. Further conversation revealed that what she meant was the absence of “This is the feast” and the presence of the “Brief Order for Confession and Forgiveness,” the “Kyrie” and “all those sad songs.”

In my defense I want you to know it was Lent. Lent brings with it “the sad stuff.”

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