Archive for April 16th, 2022



Written by Tory C. Butler, contemporary pastor, and author.

There is a tradition in African American communities called tarrying. It is when friends, family, and church family gather around the body of someone who is sick and sometimes near death—and the community begins to sing and sometimes pray with the hopes that the one who is infirmed might be restored or received with open arms by a loving and redeeming God. Can you imagine Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome watching from afar as Jesus died on the cross and not really knowing what to do, not knowing if they could cry out, not knowing what song to sing to bring him comfort at his most painful hour?

Tarrying is not simply about bringing comfort to the one who is sick or dying; it is a willingness to enter into the pain of the community. These women dealt with their grief together. They probably wiped each other’s tears and held each other’s hands. They knew they could not change the fact that their Lord had died but, they could commit to not suffering alone. You see, many of us are suffering in silence because we are too afraid to be vulnerable, too afraid to let our images slip. But maybe in the sharing of our pain, we might find others who are grieving too, others who are singing our songs, and praying our prayers. And maybe as we find our collective voice of pain, we can discover our collective hope of resurrection.


This prayer is an ancient collect from the 6th century.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light, look favorably on your whole Church, which is a wonderful and sacred mystery. In your eternal foreknowledge, you peacefully do your saving work for humanity. Let the whole world know that things that were cast down are being raised up, and things that had grown old are being made new, and all things are being restored by him in whom they have their beginning, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Old Rugged Cross  Performed by The Martin Brothers

The hymn was written in 1912 by George Bennard, an evangelist traveling throughout the Midwest. He was heckled incessantly by several youth at a revival meeting in Michigan. Troubled by their disregard for the gospel, Bennard turned to Scripture to reflect on the work of Christ on the cross and wrote this hymn.

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