Friday, 1 February 2013

Lament

The Bible is a very big book. Rather longer lasting than the News of the World although sharing a tag line that 'all human life is here'.

One aspect of the Bible (ok genre for clever clogs)  which gets neglected is what might be called the laments of the Bible, those parts of the Bible where needy people cry out in extremis for God to do something about their situation. Laments are to be found in many of the Psalms and other books like Job and the catchily titled Lamentations.

In most of our Christian meetings we like to celebrate the greatness and the goodness of God, and especially the amazing accomplishment of Jesus Christ in his dying and rising. That's great and I love to do it, yet somehow we need to find a space for lament, where we can identify with the tragedy and helplessness of the world, whether it be human trafficking, enfoced child soldiers, the horrors of war, or the ever present anguish of starvation. Not of course in all of our services, but sometimes and somehow.

Seaking personally it's often music that enables me to connect with the sorrows of the world, and Les Mis certainly did that for me recently. But one other piece of music also does it, it's the theme from Schindler's list. I just came across this YouTube video of Itzhak Perlman playing with the composer John Williams who is conducting. Please forgive the interviewer at the beginning with the unforgivable Mo.



ps For those of you interested there's an excellent lecture here on Praying the Psalms given by Gordon Wenham at Southern Baptist Seminary where he makes some helpful comments on how Christians might use the laments of the Bible in their prayers.
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