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The Absence of Lament
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Hi friend,

We live in a culture where the pursuit of pleasure is prioritised and negative feelings, experiences or situations are to be avoided.

Have you noticed how different this culture is to the narrative of suffering in the Bible?


Unlike mainstream culture, the Bible says there is purpose in suffering and that we can become more Christ-like through suffering. Suffering isn’t to be feared or avoided. It’s to be faced with grace and the assurance that God is with us in our darkest moments.

Unfortunately, the mainstream secular views of suffering have become the dominant views even among Christians. Our prayers, sermons and worship songs tend to focus mainly on the triumphant and victorious aspects of Christian life - rather than our trials, temptations and losses.

However, pain demands to be felt. We have all experienced this. We do our faith a disservice by not allowing time and space to respond to God during times of pain and suffering. The Bible encourages us to, “weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15). It reminds us to stand with one another because, “if one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). The apostle Paul even directly instructs Christians to, “bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). Sharing our pain and suffering is a crucial aspect of our devotion to God and one another. Lament is one way that we can fulfil this instruction.

Lament is healthy and necessary. The book of Psalms is the songbook of the earliest Church, and 30-40% of it is laments. Many of these lamentations are in response to personal hardship and are composed by people or communities who have suffered injustice or evil.

So, where does this leave us for Lent? Well, as you move through the daily emails across the next six weeks, we invite you to use the reflections as a time to practise lament. You may feel the need to lament a situation that you are facing individually or within your family. You may feel a burden to lament for our wider family of sisters and brothers around the world who face hardships and difficulties. It’s up to you.

Tomorrow we will continue our introductory week by looking at a framework that helps us to understand the Pslams of lament.

Until then,

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