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May 27, 2013

Moore community gathers at area churches after loss

NORMAN — Traditionally, Sunday morning is a time where communities and families can gather together, not only for fellowship and rejuvenation but also to strengthen their faith.

This week’s Sunday services were no different as several Moore churches had special services in the wake of the EF-5 tornado that ravaged the town May 20.

On Sunday, the Rev. Jeremy Basset spoke from a pulpit at First United Methodist Church of Moore that was steeped in symbols of the tornado recovery effort: shovels, donated baby food and workmen’s gloves folded together as if in prayer.

Basset, director of the Office of Mission for the church’s Oklahoma Conference, drew parallels between the resurrection of Lazarus and Moore’s struggle to rebuild.

“Jesus goes to the place of suffering,” Bassett said. “Jesus leaves Jerusalem, the center of political and religious power and happenings, and goes to the margin, to the place of pain and brokenness and suffering. …Thank God we still live in a nation where, when there is pain, people move toward the pain.

“It is a journey that all of us need to take and that you have already taken as a witness to your own faith: Going to the place of pain.

“As Jesus gets to the place of brokenness, as he gets to the tomb of darkness and death, as he watches the people around him, his spirit is broken and he is deeply disturbed, the scripture tells us, and Jesus weeps. As do we. As should we, in the face of all human suffering and pain.”

Basset compared the work of volunteers distributing provisions and clearing away rubble to the work of the men who rolled away the stone from Lazarus’s tomb.

“This task that lies ahead in engaging the brokenness of this world is not pleasant and easy,” Basset said. “The point is, for Jesus to get to the root of the problem, he invites us to participate. He needs our hands and our willingness to look behind the stone, to reveal the brokenness, to go and find the pain so that the gospel, in all it’s power and light, can be brought to the situation.

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