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Jun 20, 2021

There Will Be Ridicule

There Will Be Ridicule

Passage: Psalms

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Ascend

How do you ascend--rise above and remain at peace--when mockery inevitably descends?

Readings & Scripture

CALL TO WORSHIP: Colossians 3:14-17
LEADER: 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
ALL: 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

CORPORATE PRAYER: Prayer: The Peace Prayer (by St. Francis of Assisi)

ALL: Lord, make us an instrument of Thy peace;

Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is error, truth. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console.
To be understood, as to understand. To withhold, as to forgive. To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

CENTRAL TEXT: Psalm 123:1
LEADER: 1 To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us. 3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. 4 Our soul has had more than enough
of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.

CONFESSION OF SIN: (Adapted from The Worship Sourcebook)
ALL: Merciful Savior, we have denied you by refusing to know you. We have betrayed you by keeping our distance. We have mocked you by pretending we are not yours. We have strayed from your ways by keeping our distance from one another. Jesus, we are lost; let your forgiveness find us. By your Holy Spirit, welcome us into your strong, forgiving arms and let us feel reconciled to you again. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: From Psalm 51:1 and Micah 7:18-19
LEADER: Have mercy on us, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out our transgressions.

ALL: For who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the offenses of your people?

LEADER: You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show your steadfast love. Once again you have compassion on us. You tread our sins underfoot and hurl our transgressions into the depths of the sea.


BENEDICTION: From 2 Corinthians 13:11,14
LEADER: Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
ALL: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.

Sermons & Resources

  • Genesis 33:15 / 1 Samuel 1:18
  • Job 12:2-6
  • Psalm 42/43
  • Psalm 119:22
  • Psalm 121
  • Luke 7:36-50
  • Luke 15:25-32
  • Luke 21:10-15
  • John 7:53-8:11
  • John 12:3-7
  • John 15:18-24
  • John 16:33


InView Media Album 06.20.2021


  1. Earliest memory of being mocked or ridiculed? Latest memory? How did it feel--then or more recently? Why that? How did you respond? What other options for responding might you have considered there in the moment, or following?
  2. How are poetry and prose similar in what they do or say? How are they different? Perhaps a way to arrive at an answer is to imagine the difference between a song and an account. How are those similar but distinct? With those similarities and distinctions in mind, how might Psalms and, say, a letter from Paul or a teaching from Jesus be similar and distinct?
  3. For what is Christianity--or maybe more particularly the church (though those are often conflated in people’s minds)--mocked and ridiculed, both properly and improperly? That is, for what do you think has Christianity been rightly chided, and for what has it been disparaged simply because what it contends is unpopular?
  4. What are the various options when mocked or ridiculed? In what several ways do people tend to respond? What would you say is the Psalmist recommending or reminding Israel when they have been ground down by mockery?
  5. Name all the occurrences you can think of when Jesus underwent ridicule or mockery--including, of course, its most severe form. What was what he endured out to accomplish? How is that meant to help us think about, and respond to, the mockery we will inevitably encounter?


  • Now, I am absolutely convinced that the main source of hatred in the world is religion and organized religion. Absolutely convinced of that. And I think it should be—religion—treated with ridicule, hatred, and contempt. And I claim that right. So when I say—as the subtitle of my book—that I think religion poisons everything, I’m not just doing what publishers like and coming up with a provocative subtitle. I mean to say it infects us in our most basic integrity. It says we can’t be moral without ‘Big Brother,’ without a totalitarian permission, means we can’t be good to one another without this, we must be afraid, we must also be forced to love someone whom we fear—the essence of sadomasochism, the essence of abjection, the essence of the master-slave relationship and that knows that death is coming and can’t wait to bring it on. I say that is evil, and though I do, some nights, stay home, I enjoy more the nights when I go out and fight against this ultimate wickedness and ultimate stupidity. Christopher Hitchens (cited in Slate Star Codex)
  • "I cried," Abramson tells me. "I should say it went right off me, but I'm just being honest. I did cry. But by the next morning, I wasn't completely preoccupied by it anymore. I had my cry and that was that. And [Times Co. chairman] Arthur Sulzberger came down and was very supportive. He basically said, 'It goes with the territory. Don't let it get to you.' " The publisher also invoked what he calls the Second Law of Journalism: It's not your fault. It's just your turn.’ “Good Jill, Bad Jill, Lloyd George
  • A perception of minority status can easily tempt Christians to get testy, even hostile, against a world God calls us to love. As reactionaries, we can swiftly default to an in-your-face politically incorrect posture. And that would make us Pharisees. The Pharisees’ instinct was to separate from the world. But Christians, compelled by the love of Christ, must extend kindness and friendship to those who disagree with us. Christians, compelled by the love of Christ, must not only be the best kind of friends; we must also become the best kind of enemies—forgiving when injured, praying for and blessing those who speak against and  ridicule and say untrue things about us, and refusing to get caught up in a culture of outrage. Scott Sauls
  • In the end that Face which is the delight or terror of the universe must be turned upon each of us. . . either conferring glory inexpressible or inflicting shame that can never be cured or disguised. C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”
  • I have spoken to young people who tell me they are terrified to tweet anything, that they read and re-read their tweets because they fear they will be attacked by their own. The assumption of good faith is dead. What matters is not goodness but the appearance of goodness. We are no longer human beings. We are now angels jostling to out-angel one another. God help us. It is obscene. Chimamanda Adichie
  • Is Christianity declining where you are? Is it, rather, growing in power and influence? Is persecution coming for you? Or is cultural success around the corner?None of it matters. Our calling is precisely the same, in what we call times of ease and what we call times of struggle. And the Good News is always News and always Good. Don’t bother being an optimist or a pessimist. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead! Alan Jacobs
  • I see mercy in the dusty sunlight that outlines the trees, in my mother’s crooked hands, in the blanket my friend left for me, in the harmony of the wind chimes. It’s not the mercy that I asked for, but it is mercy nonetheless. And I learn a new prayer: thank you. It’s a prayer I don’t mean yet, but will repeat until I do. Call me cursed, call me lost, call me scorned. But that’s not all. Call me chosen, blessed, sought-after. Call me the one who God whispers his secrets to. I am the one whose belly is filled with loaves of mercy that were hidden for me. Even on days when I’m not so sick, sometimes I go lay on the mat in the afternoon light to listen for Him. I know it sounds crazy, and I can’t really explain it, but God is in there—even now. I have heard it said that some people can’t see God because they won’t look low enough, and it’s true. Look lower. God is on the bathroom floor. Jane Marczweski