We rarely use the term lament in conversation these days. With visions of sackcloth and ashes, it seems more in keeping with Old Testament life.
To lament is to passionately express sorrow or grief, giving voice to feelings that might otherwise stay quietly inside. The Bible provides many examples of people crying out to God in times of distress in the Psalms, Jeremiah, and (of course) Lamentations. They often express confusion and fear of abandonment in times of trouble.
We do not lament for lament’s sake but to heal so that we can move into action. This process gives us the compassion and determination needed to alleviate the suffering of others through prayer, volunteering, and advocacy. Some may shy away from advocacy, seeing it as an improper mix of politics and religion. But Jesus never shied away from advocating for justice, and neither should we.
There are so many causes we can advocate for as Christians–health care, the environment, and immigration reform, to name a few. Why not transform your own passion for justice into action, and find purpose in lament?
This message is an excerpt from a Women of the ELCA blog by Laura Brix Newbury. Please keep Women of the ELCA voting members in your prayers as they make decisions during the Eleventh Triennial Convention. The convention ends today.
Daily Grace has been offering you things to ponder and things to pray about for more than 10 years. For free. Women of the ELCA provides many other free online resources, too—see welca.org/resources. Please support Women of the ELCA at welca.org/give.