Formed by Lament

“Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.” Psalm 130:1-2

What can we call the year 2020 if not a year of grief? So much heaviness and turmoil, so much to bring to God in prayer. America is not unique in its suffering; the pandemic has touched all inhabited continents and almost every country. Injustice and violence, which have boiled over in America this year, are a daily part of life for many parts of the world. As I write, an American living in Australia, I feel a strange, weighty sense of solidarity with many people around the world.
Yet, as Soong-Chan Rah explores in his book Prophetic Lament, lament of suffering does not come easily to Western Evangelicals. In a culture that focuses on victory and triumph, we are not used to lamenting. We want our tears to turn to joy — as soon as possible. This discomfort with sorrow and lament, however, is foreign to the Scriptures, as Rah shows throughout Prophetic Lament.

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