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« ::.. Day 27 ..:: Prayers of Biblical Hope | Main | ::.. Day 28 ..:: Prayers of Biblical Hope »

March 22, 2004


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Shameless self-promotion here, but there are two pieces on reclaiming the lament Psalms in "Get Up Off Your Knees." One by Jamie Howison looks at Ps 40 along with Bruce Cockburn, Steve Bell, Bruggemmann, and U2 - the other by Brian Walsh reads Ps 44 in tandem with "Wake Up Dead Man," finding the former more scandalous.

Seeing your post, and the quote from Sally, I'm thinking those two are part of a larger movement of attention to the role of lament in the contemporary spiritual journey.


When I was struggling with being a Protestant I used to call this phenomenon "The Cult of the Nice"...One of the things I really appreciate about Orthodox worship and spirituality is how *real* it takes life seriously and in a way that makes all of it important.

Chris - I've seen a few times when there has been a place for lamenting in worship... but besides the "happy, happy, joy, joy-only" people having a hard time with it, it seems to me that the whole church ends up shying away from this 'cause lamenting is a messy business. "Messy" makes us too uncomfortable, and I'm not sure we've really learned (at least in most of the churches I've been in) to live with that discomfort... We want to "fix" things too badly.

it stopped when the church did away with the prophet. as mike at waving or drowning pointed out in a great tozer quote:

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. They must be of the old prophet type, a person who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When they come (and I pray God there will be not one but many), they will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. They will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a person is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt- spoken and a little bit angry with the world. They will love Christ and the souls of people to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But they will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath."

We have nothing to "lament" because we won't look at the truth, because we have "killed the messenger".

psalm 88 is my anthem. i discovered it several years ago, and since i have realised it is the only psalm that does NOT have a happy ending.


That's for the references, Beth. Much appreciated.

Two years ago I was in a seminar, listening to an explanation of postmodernity. One of the "characteristics" has always stuck in my mind:

- a specter of doom.

This has got me thinking... and wondering if there's a connection here, resulting in our readiness to accept "lament" as being consistent with today's socio-political-cultural reality (i.e. a specter of doom)?

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