Coronavirus Message – March 24th

Beloved community,


Please know the invitation to join the people of Trinity in Lenten Midweek Worship, the service of Compline, Prayer at the Close of the Day.  You can access the recording of this Wednesday’s service here:


The March 24 service is a recording available on Trinity’s YouTube channel and can be accessed at your convenience for a midweek worship experience during Lent of 2021.  Larry Biser offers meditative piano music to open and close the liturgy and Pastor Dan offers brief homilies in different community settings over the course of this five-week worship series.  I have the privilege of serving as liturgist for our offerings of Compline in 2021.


Come, O people of God, come and let us worship.


Yesterday, at our biweekly Staff Meeting at Trinity, I shared during our Opening Devotions some resources for reflection assigned for the day, the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, from a Lent Sourcebook I read as a personal devotion each year from Liturgy Training Publications, a ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago.  In the wake of the deaths of eight in the mass shooting last week in Atlanta, and the deaths of ten more on Monday in the Boulder, Colorado grocery store, the deep lament of Tuesday’s Lenten reflection spoke to my heart.  The Psalmist spared no emotion in his lament:


I forget to eat my bread.  I am sleepless, and I moan.

I am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.


Psalm 102:5, 8


The editors of my sourcebook then shared the verse of an early American folk hymn, and an African American spiritual, both based on the lament of Psalm 102:


As on some lonely building top

The sparrow tells her moan,

Far from the tents of joy and hope

I sit and grieve alone.

Sense can afford no real joy

To souls that feel thy frown,

Lord, ‘twas thy hand advanc’d me high;

Thy had hath cast me down!


Sometimes I feel like a moanin’ dove,

Sometimes I feel like a moanin’ dove,

Sometimes I feel like a moanin’ dove,

Wring my hands and cry, cry, cry!

Wring my hands and cry!


The deep lament of the Psalmist speaks to my heart when the news is so sad, so devastating, so tragic.  The lone sparrow sleepless, moaning, forgetting to eat her bread – I find myself receiving the news of another violent assault “. . . far from the tents of joy and hope.”  


And I do not propose easy answers in the wake of such violence.  It feels like our addiction to weapons and violence is part of the problem, but only part of the problem . . .  we humans fall short of the goodness for which we were made.  We fall short of our identity as those made “in the image of God.”


So, my sisters and brothers in Christ, on this Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, I lift up the hope that Paul the apostle offered to the early Corinthian Christian church:


But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.


2 Corinthians 4:7-11


Blessings good people of Trinity.  Know that your Lenten lament is not wrong, or a sign of your lack of faith, or a resignation before the powers of this world.  People of faith have known times of lament before, and throughout the travails of every age, our God remains faithful.


I hope that our offerings of Compline on the Wednesdays of Lent in 2021 provide a measure of meaningful devotion on your Lenten journey.  May you be safe, may you be well, and may you be held in love.


It remains a privilege to serve as one of your pastors.


Grace and peace,


Pastor Robert Linstrom



2700 Fulton St. E
Grand Rapids, MI 49506


Our Mission

Trinity Lutheran Church is a dynamic family called by God to nurture each other in our daily journeys of faith and to joyfully increase our response to all people in need, sharing God’s gifts of love and grace.