Abductive Columns

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Honesty of Lament

We discussed the book of Joel this past Sunday; particularly suffering and repentance. I like how Eugene Peterson translates Joel 1:13

...you priests,

put on your robes and join the outcry.

You who lead people in worship,

lead them in lament.
I'm not sure we are as familiar with lament as God's people were in the first century.

Are we comfortable with tears (especially men)? If lament and mourning among God's people had been practiced as publicly as it was in Joel's day we would have established a tradition to replace the sackcloth tradition. We may not verbalize it but we see suffering as a blasphemous assault on a precariously maintained American spirituality of the pursuit of happiness. Western spirituality wants to avoid evidence that things are not right with the world as it--without Jesus, without love, without faith, without sacrifice. It is much easier to keep the American faith by not looking into the face of suffering; if we don't have to listen to our laments, if we don't have to deal with our tears.

Consider Jesus.

At every major turning point of his ministry, Jesus pours out his heart in lament--when he enters Jerusalem for the last time, when he experiences his final meal with the disciples, when he struggles with the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, and most importantly when he endures the suffering of the cross.

Jesus understood the honesty represented in the life that knows how to lament.

1 Comments:

At 1:51 AM, Anonymous Thomas Dohling said...

One who has the mind of Christ will join Him in lamenting over the prevailing world moral indifference where "the self" [individual] is being increasingly projected and God is all but forgotten. A case in point is the banning by a court in the USA of teachings about Intellegent Being behind creation in support of the Darwinian theory in a city [Dodge, Dover?]. Of course, The Omnipotent One does not need human defending! However, human beings who believe in the Divine Creator should quietly [before Him] and vociferously [before the world]lament such actions. - Thomas Dohling, New Delhi, India.

 

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