Cry, let it all out ….

For the past couple of years, I have been following the International Sunday School Lessons series and each week posting what I call “reflections” for the upcoming Sunday’s Scripture. I have been, for the most part, not interested in posting my reflections and observations but in helping the reader engage the Scripture and offer some pathways for their own reflections.

The Scripture focus for this upcoming Sunday is Lamentations 5.

You can find my most recent post here –

I don’t recall ever paying much attention to the book of Lamentations in the past but having done so in the past days, I now see some of what I have missed.

Maybe the laments offered in the book of Lamentations were encouraged in their honesty by the many laments offered in the Psalms.

If as Bonhoeffer suggests the Psalms are the “praybook of the bible,” I wonder why we do not do a better job of offering our entire selves to God.

We often turn to the Psalms for the words of praise we find there.

Could we also turn to the Psalms and Lamentations to see how we can name the pain we have and give voice to that pain before God. No, that doesn’t express it correctly. Not “before God,” but “to God.”

We hear it in the Psalms, we hear it in Lamentations.

Walter Brueggemann in Praying the Psalms tells us “The Psalms are an assurance to us that when we pray and worship, we are not expected to censure or deny the deepness of our own human pilgrimage.”

And elsewhere in The Message of the Psalms he suggests “[Psalms of lament] express the pain, grief, dismay, and anger that life is not good. (They also refuse to settle for things as they are, and so they assert hope.)”

We call on God to hear our pain, to see our pain, to acknowledge our pain, we ask how long will it continue and we ask God why.

After this year of pandemic, of isolation, of death, of violence, maybe it is time to tell God how we “really” feel about it.

Do you think God can handle it? The Psalmists did. Those voicing their pain in Lamentations did.

Do we?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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