LamentNew Every Morning | January 16, 2021
Sometimes I wonder, Where are you today, God? Do you not see what is going on here in this world? People are suffering! The earth is groaning in pain! Are you there? Are you listening? We see in the scriptures that these wonderings are not new. Our spiritual ancestors, the Israelite people, demanded of God, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us . . . with thirst?” (Exod. 17:3). Whether our deserts are personal or corporate, lament can be the prayer language to help us on our journey through the wilderness.
—Beth A. Richardson, Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God During Lent (Upper Room Books, 2020)
What “prayer language” might help you journey through the wilderness? Join the conversation.
The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”
—Exodus 17:2-3 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
O God, help me walk through the wilderness of these days remembering who I am and whose I am. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Join author Beth A. Richardson from Ash Wednesday, February 17, through Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, for a special online retreat from The Upper Room, featuring the book Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God During Lent. Learn more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
Lamenting is a perfect prayerlanguage for the world in general and myself in particular for 2020 and into 2021. The entire world is experiencing a global pain in a manner that is rarely seen. Now each and every person is experiencing the pandemic and the fallout. I am experiencing a miriad of personal anguish during this global suffering as well.
Prayers for Ally and David. Prayers for better sleep for Ally and prayers of thanksgiving for David’s improved mental and physical health and outlook.
Prayers for Jill and Larry, may they both soon receive the vaccine and may this long weekend away from online classes renew and recharge Jill.
Prayers for Lou and her children, may they remain in contact during this time of physical separation and may Lou find ways to remain engaged with activities and friends.
Prayers for Robert and his family. May all be safe and well and may Robert receive the vaccination soon.
A foggy morning as I look outside. My suncatchers will not be catching the rays today, but I know that the sun is behind the fog and just waiting to break out. The readings here and on other sites this week remind me of the fog I see today. And what do we do during these foggy days? We lament, pray, reflect, study, connect with other Christians, rest, etc for after we go through this dark/foggy time, the sun/Son will we shinning on the other side.
Just took down the Christmas decorations and reflected on the different but blessed season we had this year. God is always with us, showing us a new thing, asking us to stop hanging on to our old ways. So much easier to type than to actually do I am finding, but I am taking one step at a time and watching as the way unfolds, knowing that Jesus is journeying with me.
I have started to re- read The Chronological Bible this year. It has been several years since I did that, and this year I am hearing the words with new meaning. Maybe I was just reading the last time, but I kept the book with the thought that I would do it every year…well…maybe from now on. As I read of the cheating that Jill relates, I am thinking how much deceit and lies and conflict there has been in the first pages I have read. Cain and Able, Jacob and Esau, Abraham and Lot….and these were family members who did such things….yet life went on. I wonder if Cain ever reflected on his actions. Esau welcomed Jacob back home. Abraham and Lot split and went separate ways. God tells us the stories of others and also gives us the choice to make our own decisions. I pray that God will help me make the correct decisions the first time, but if not, that He will continue to refine me so that I can rise up and move forward, yes He is doing a New thing….Isaiah 43:19.
I am reflecting on our family and hoping to strengthen the bonds with and among us. There have been articles on family estrangement that I have been reading and pondering. I am trying to connect in meaningful ways with each and planning for the next time we can all be physically together. Oh what memories I have of last year when we were all together….yet I reflect on the families of the Bible and know that I need God’s help.
The new year, 2021, is getting more familiar each time I type it. Each day is a new present sent from above. May I open each day with anticipation for the messages and experiences for that day. Blessings to each who come to this site. Thank you for holding me in your prayers, I hold you in mine. Be safe.
I learned so much about lament, as I was desperate for resources about this during the last year of mom’s life. And sitting in lament with God is indeed worship. Maybe the most authentic worship we can offer Him. A few of the books will be treasures of mine the rest of my life and recommendations for others. And from these authors – either hosting or being guests on podcasts – has increased my podcast library – of which I listen to while walking.
I have begun cleaning out cabinets and closets. I think taking on the basement ignited a little something in me. This morning I went through the cabinet above my refrigerator and threw things out that needed to be discarded long ago. I find a need for even more organization…not sure why this is. I know my teaching space makes me crazy, because it is limited and there is just stuff everywhere. So – other areas I have more control over – I feel like I am needing to go even more basic. I ordered a 5 cup coffee maker and put my 12 cupper in the basement. I reorganized my counter space and there is just less stuff.
Getting ready to settle in for a day of grading. (Maybe that is why I am cleaning – to avoid sitting down in front of the screen.)
I missed this yesterday, now it’s Sunday. The word lament brings to mind a bagpipe tune, not Amazing Grace, but a lament. Yes from the beginning of the pandemic to now laments of many forms have surely been appropriate. I am very hopeful that some positives will occur soon and laments will turn to joys. That God has been with us through this tough time has been a great comfort. ZOOM worship. Bible study, fellowship and the online UR Reflection keep me going.
Having a hobby hasn’t hurt either. Walks in the woods add support. Ironic that the pandemic has caused positive developments! Cleanouts and cleanups! Reaching out to others.
Stay and be safe! Thank You, Lord.