November 3: Learning to Lament
Psalm 88 / Hebrews 4:14-16
The ancient Hebrews, who wrote most of the Bible, knew how to lament. The book of the psalms, which was the Hebrew prayer and song book, is replete with songs of lament. Lament is expressing our hurts, griefs and sorrows, and as people of faith, that means bringing our complaints to God. In the modern church we have largely neglected the sacred practice of lament for a variety of reasons. When we lament, however, we open ourselves up to God’s healing and renewal, and we walk the path from hurt to hope, even when our painful circumstances to not change.
November 10: Living in Lament
Psalm 137 / Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7, 10-14
One of the most quoted Old Testament passages is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” What is often overlooked is that the people to whom God was speaking wanting nothing to do with God’s plans. God’s plans were for them to remain in Babylon, away from their home in Jerusalem, for seventy years. Psalm 137 is the painful response of the people to their exile. Together these passages have much to teach us about living toward hope while in the midst of painful and hopeless situations.
November 17: Practicing Lament
On this Sunday we will adjust our worship service to provide opportunities to bring our laments, personal and collective, before God, using Psalm 130 as a guide to our experience and a sacred acts to mark our experience. Like many lament psalms, Psalm 130 moves from hurt to hope. We will learn from the psalm and practice its timeless wisdom in our worship, more importantly, in our lives.