Lament is an uncomfortable concept. I don't like to be sad. I don't like my friends to be sad. I don't like when sad things are happening in the world. Who does? The Jews of the Bible times had a very different relationship with grief than the average Canadian does. Even just a quick glance through scripture will show you that they were very open with their pain and heartache, loss and hurt. It was culturally acceptable to express aloud the deepest of emotions without judgment.
In our culture we are far more likely to grieve privately and take a more philosophical approach to our pain. We try not to bother others with our troubles and don't want to "bring people down" with us. The trouble is, hiding our pain can quickly turn to burying it; something we were never created to do.
The worship team was joking with me that they would lead this week wearing sackcloth and ashes... and while that would be an interesting way to be led on Sunday, we probably don't need a wardrobe change to dig into the reasons that lament is so prevalent in the Bible and how we can use it to deepen our relationship with God this year.
So how can we - those who know "the God of all comfort" (2 Cor. 1:3), have "joy unspeakable" (1 Pet. 1:8) and are given "peace that passes all understanding" (Phil. 4:7) - relate to the lamentations we read throughout scripture? I'm looking forward to talking about the power of lament with you!