Good morning all!
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
Psalm 130 by Mark Lawrence
I am going to put this out there and you can respond with your thoughts but I believe we have lost the art of lament. As I type this I am acutely aware that my cat Eli is walking around the house meowing a deep mournful meow because we won’t let him out this morning due to how many birds he has brought us. Maybe Eli has not lost the art of lament (it sounds like we are very much punishing him around here) but I believe we have lost this art.
What is lament? According to google definitions it means “a passionate expression of grief.” But I really like what Dr. Creach over at workingpreacher.org has to say about lament. He says, “Lament is a form of speech that allows the worshipper to complain about injustice and to call on God to hear the cries of those who suffer, as did our biblical forbears. Because lament is offered to one in covenant relationship, however, lament also is praise, and a very important expression of praise at that. It gives evidence of faith worked out in the midst of hardship, hurt, and loss. Perhaps this is the reason the editors of the Psalter labeled the book “praises” even though it is dominated by the lament genre.”
So in that light the form of lament is almost critical to our personal faith. When was the last time you cried out to God in injustice in the world? Or about your deep grief? What grieves you this morning? For some reason Psalm 130 hits me this morning because in this call out of the depths, the writer is calling to God. There is a deep faith that God will be there as long as we are calling out. In addition there is this notion still of an active waiting that takes place in that lament. I think sometimes in our world, if we call out our deep despair we expect everything to be fixed right away and yet the Psalmist still waits as expectantly as we wait for the morning…still knowing that God is there and will do something. How appropriate for the advent season! As we wait there will be moments of great joy and moments of great despair. I don’t know about you but I am saddened about so many things happening in the world that sometimes I have to dwell in it but if I spend too much time there nothing starts to happen, a fine balance.