As the people of God, we lament not to the air, but to God. Lament is, in fact, an act of faith. It is an expression of our trust in the primary gospel, euangelion or the Good News, the message of our Christian tradition that death does not win. The thing is, whenever death seems to win, it feels like a profound betrayal. And whenever a tradition seems to be far more comfortable with praise than lament, it can feel isolating.
But turning to the scriptural texts like the book of Psalms and the rich, albeit tragic, book of Lamentations, can remind us that we are not, in fact, isolated. We are part of an ancient family of lamenters, one that has also known the crush of loss and the resulting grief. We are part of an ancient family of storytellers, of comforters. Our pain can be expressed aloud, shared, and borne together.
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “No hard feelings?” by Anna Madsen in the October 2019 Gather magazine.
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