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« Above All, Christ | Main | Missional Hospitality »

April 28, 2004

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"Aren't you glad?"

Yes and Amen!

I've just been reading Richard Foster's Prayer, and the first prayer he talks about after "Simple Prayer" is the "Prayer of the Forsaken". This is good stuff.

Your congregation is blessed to have a pastor like you!

I'm with you on this Chris [blogged about it myself on more than one occasion]. Nice way to handle it congregationally, too. I've been wondering if making Advent and Lent something of seasons of lament might help. People at present probably expect certain kinds of things from corporate worship and being plunged into lament could be hard to handle if it's done without preparation. Knwoing that there would be something of the lament about a season might help ... ?

Excellent Chris!

wow.

i like what you're saying.

20 years ago we spent nearly a year hearing sermons about the israelites as they journeyed out of egypt to the promised land. the thing that stands out most to me from that year is this: 'don't grumble or complain, cause the israelites did that and it was a sin.' which is true.

but to hear this side of things, and to read it in the psalms -- wow.

this has made my head spin tonight.

ok, that settles it - we're moving to california to come to your church. man - your descriptions make me so jealous! your congregation (are they called that in an emergent church? :) are blessed!

DP,

I am touched by this that you've shared here. Reminds me of what the psalmist said, in Psalms 62:8 "Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah."

But how do you tell the difference from 'lamenting' and 'murmuring and complaining?

Peace

LYB

Seraphim

"But how do you tell the difference from 'lamenting' and 'murmuring and complaining?"

Seraphim, that's a good question -- no, that's an important question.

I wouldn't assume to have any sort of difinitive answer, but here's what my gut says -
If Psalm 13 serves as an instructive example of biblical lament, then "lament" tends toward (includes) hope -- whereas murmuring and complaining (in isolation) tend toward bitterness. The former is focused on and exercises faith, whereas the later may (at least) termporarily set faith aside.

That said however, I don't believe we should think that those who murmur or complain don't have faith, but I agree with Brueggemann who sees biblical lament as an expression of faith and of covenantal reciprocity with the God we're partnered with.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Thanks for this, Chris. I hope you won't mind if I borrow liberally for a message I'm working on?

By all means, Daniel -- help yourself!
btw - hope all is well with you, my friend.

Awesome Chris!

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