I’m reading “Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering” by Kelly M. Kapic professor at Covenant College and wanted to share these quotes from chapter three with you.
“Rejecting both utopianism on the one hand and despair on the other leads us to what might be called defiant hope.”
“hope cannot be seen and felt unless brokenness and pain are recognized first.”
“This lament does not undercut divine authority and care but rather beseeches the presence and comfort of God into the most wounded parts of our souls.”
“The songs of lament, which make up over 40 percent of the psalter, remind us that we can bring our questions and struggles to God himself.”
Lament in corporate worship Sunday mornings: “When contemporary churches cease to sing laments as part of their regular catalog of songs, instead only choosing happy or upbeat music, the people of God lose their ability to lament well: our muscles for godly mourning atrophy. We become ill-equipped to handle the pain that life throws at us. Without space for genuine lament, false veneers and bitterness easily take root, eventually bringing destruction in their wake. Suffering surprises and isolates once-active worshipers, often driving them away. When the homes of believers are hit by chronic pain or mental illness, they often find the contemporary church strangely unhelpful, even hurtful. A hurting family no longer fits the American Christian model of growth, happiness, and victory.”
What good is it to me that Christ lamented? “A full lament is deadly. We know this because when Jesus fully and truly enters into lament, it kills him. He dies. But in his case his lament was not for himself but for others. He enters in so that our laments don’t have to kill us.”
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/3Nm2kkR
Photo by Mason Moore. 2018
Today in class Ben Nevius brought this opening quote from Ellen Davis to his session on the psalms today:
“The psalms give us permission to voice the things, ask the questions, and feel the feelings that we generally think keep us out of the presence of God but they actually demand us to bring those deep things into the presence of God.”
Psalm 25 is a psalm dealing with shame. The causes of shame can include people, past, and personal shame which David unpacks each here. The effects of shame include isolation, being busy, and pretending. The right response King David models is he is open before God (does not hide), he wrestles with God, and he is confident in God that he can pray this way and be helped by God not smacked.
Many of our other feelings include the following: hope or despondency, love or indifference, fear or courage, shame or honor, gladness, loneliness, guilt, anger, bitterness, and many more. What are we to do with these? Pray them honestly to God.