The Grief Lectionary: A curriculum for connecting your grief to Scripture


Starting this Friday, I will be testing a six-week curriculum that’s been developing in my heart and head for a couple years now. I don’t know whether to call it a bible study or a grief group, though it might best be called both. Essentially, it’s a snapshot of how I’ve discovered that Scripture can be a guide through the experience of grief.

As a Lutheran, I believe that Scripture holds the living Word of God, and that our own experience is one the lenses we bring to that Word, that it may speak fresh in our own lives. This has been especially true for me in times of grief. As a pastor and a preacher, my grief at the sudden death of my second husband felt too big for both my faith and my church. So I sought solace where I always have: in the Bible.

Suddenly, I saw grieving people all over the Scriptures, people whose lives had been broken by death, whose stories bore witness to both pain and hope. And even more, I saw God’s grief, maybe for the first time. This new connection to God and Their people helped me feel less alone. It also provided a multitude of models for grieving faithfully.

This first test group is invited to co-create the curriculum with me, bringing their grief to bear on six stories, and discovering with me a deeper connection to God and each other that leads to healing and hope. I know from training and experience that the Scriptures are best encountered in community, and that the Spirit moves among God’s people when we gather around the Word. We will start with the Flood, then explore the grief of Ruth and Naomi, the anger of Jeremiah and the depression of Elijah. We will move then to the gospels, spending the last two weeks exploring the grief of Jesus at the death of Lazarus, and finally the grief of Passion Story.

There is still room to join this co-creator group for anyone interested. We will meet Fridays from noon to 1:30 pm Central Time starting this Friday, March 11th and going through Holy Week. I look forward to sharing a full written resource after Easter, and hope this will be of value to all who are grieving in and out of the church.


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