Community reflection #14: from Jenni
I loved Amy’s sermon Jun 21st on the importance of lamenting. There is something very healthy about crying out to God to act on your behalf or someone else’s for justice; and what better book in the bible to illustrate this than Lamentations.
Lamentations is not a book to read if you want to feel uplifted or encouraged. The themes of this book deal with desolation, suffering, and misery. But amongst all this angst, hope springs eternal. Lamentations contains 5 chapters. Each chapter is a poem. The first and second chapters each contain 22 verses. The fourth and fifth chapters each contain 22 verses. Right in the middle of this is chapter 3, which contains 66 verses. And what does it say right in the middle of these 66 verses?
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.
28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. 29 Let him bury his face in the dust— there may yet be hope. 30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.
31 For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.
These are the only uplifting words in the book and are placed very appropriately in the exact middle. During this time of Covid quarantining and amongst the bad days that can be filled with sorrow, desolation, or grief, remember that God is right there present in the middle of it all. These verses remind us that God is kind, compassionate, faithful, and most important, present. Keep these verses with you as a reminder of God’s faithful heart and devotion to justice.
Father, we thank you for your presence and faithfulness in the midst of our lives. We will remember your words,
(24 -25) I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;