Sunday, September 30, 2007

Questioning God - Final Reflections

This study has been a profound experience for me. So much more could and should be said about each psalm that carries one of the accusatory questions but space does not permit in this paper. What started off as a musing on the aggressive prayers that Israel seemed to offer has become a provocative challenge to both covenant and Creator. This study has also cemented in my mind the need for lament in our communities. Without it, our liturgies lack a certain honesty about our selves and our world. We need to overcome the isolating tendencies of individualism on both the personal and ecclesial scale and rediscover our solidarity with a crumbling and disoriented world. Rediscovering our social reality is fundamental to rediscovering lament. When we do, we will find the need for such language again. Such a language will “help the church genuinely mourn the world’s enmity and pain, give a voice to the voiceless, and witness against injustice.”[1] Lament offers the church a solid “rhetoric for prayer and reflection that befits these volatile times, a rhetoric that mourns loss, examines complicity in evil, cries for divine help, and sings and prays with hope. For indeed, what ultimately shapes lament is not the need of the creature to cry its woe, but the faithfulness of the God, who hears and acts.”[2]

[1] Sally Brown & Patrick Miller, ed., “Introduction,” in Lament: Reclaiming Practices in Pulpit, Pew, and Public Square, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), xix.
[2] Ibid.