Lacrimosa - Monday Musing, April 11, 2022
Lacrimosa. This Latin word for weeping was mentioned in last week’s Lenten program: Pilgrimage Through The Holy Land. Rev. Anne Weirich showed images of Dominus Flevit, a Roman Catholic Church located on the upper third of the Mount of Olives, overlooking the city of Jerusalem to the west. The church commemorates Jesus’ weeping over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). The roof of the church is designed to resemble a tear drop, and on each of the four corners is a large representation of a small glass vessel, which was used to catch the tears of mourners in the first century.
The idea behind the keeping of tears in a bottle is remembrance. When he was a prisoner of his enemies, the Psalmist David writes, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle (Psa 56:8). David was going through a difficult time, so in his writings he expresses a deep trust in God – God will remember his sorrows and tears, and God will not forget about him. In our worship we recall the stories of our faith.
Yesterday’s Palm Sunday worship was our reminder of Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, a city he weeps over. In the days ahead, we will be reminded of Jesus’ final days before his Passion. We recall the eastern procession of a commoner wearing an ordinary robe, riding on a young colt. Jesus came not as a King with imperial power and the implements of war, but rather he represented a kin-dom announcing peace, dismantling the weaponry of war. We know what the end of the week holds for Jesus, which causes us to weep.
David was confident that God was on his side. In the midst of his troubling time, he writes, “This I know, that God is for me” and “In God I trust; I am not afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me?” (Psa 56:9,11). God may not have an actual bottle where our tears are kept, or a book where our sorrows are recorded, but our faith teaches us that God knows all the things that happen in our lives, including our suffering. Our God is merciful who weeps with us (see Exodus 3:7 and John 11:33-35).
As this Holy Week unfolds, we remember the events leading to Jesus’ Passion. But our tears turn to shouts of joy, for we are assured in knowing the rest of the story – Jesus’ death leads to Christ’s resurrection. This is something we not only remember every Easter, but also something we never forget. See you in church!