Every Sunday, our church family has said a form of the following words as part of our weekly corporate confession: We confess that we have sinned against you, in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and what we have left undone. We have not loved you with...
We are all carrying burdens we can bring to God in lament. Some burdens are personal; we carry guilt from broken relationships, shame from past abuse, or grief for loved ones who died too soon. Some burdens are corporate; we may join with others in deep sadness, empathy, or compassion for a particular group of people. And now we are all carrying this universal burden of the coronavirus.
We allow our emotions to be formed by Jesus in corporate worship by singing the Psalms and praying intercessions as a corporate body. Lament softens our hearts towards the objects of our prayers and teaches us to grieve with the community. For as Michael Card says, “Until we learn to lament, we have nothing to say to most of the world” (A Sacred Sorrow).
Lament is expressing sorrow to God and asking hard questions in the face of trial. It is all over the Bible but is missing from the modern worship service.
Epiphany is the season of light – the light of the world coming to save us and meeting with the Magi. As our hearts are formed in worship, we become more like Jesus. We become the light to the world.
For some of us, feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or loneliness are a part of every Christmas. If this is you, may I tell you something? You have actually been holding one of the keys to Advent as you bravely faced each December – a key that many more of us will need to discover this year to unlock our Christmas joy.