According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals
and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Friday, October 25, 2013

What Does It Mean to Lament Before God?

when God is unfaithful
  • “rejected us and abased us”…
  • “you have made us like sheep for slaughter”…
  • “sold your people for a trifle”…
  • “made us a taunt…a byword…a laughingstock”
 
Thanks a lot. All this has happened, even though “we have not forgotten you, or been false to your covenant.” So, God, here’s an idea: “Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord. Awake, do not cast us off forever.”
 
Translation: “God,  you’re asleep at the switch, it’s your fault, don’t even try to blame this on us.”
 
Then there’s Psalm 89, which goes for the jugular. After reminding God of his promise to stick by his promise to David to maintain an unbroken legacy of kings in Israel, and that God would never violate that promise, for God does not lie, the psalmist accuses God of doing just that. The Israelites are now in exile in Babylon: no king, no throne, no land.
 
The psalmist doesn’t ask or wonder out loud. He simply points out the obvious: “You have renounced your covenant…defiled his [David's] crown…. Lord, where is your steadfasat love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?”
 
OK, so what’s my point?
 
Is God actually at the end of the day unfaithful? No, I don’t believe so.
 
Did the Israelites sometimes feel that God was unfaithful to them and accuse God of such? You betcha. They took their grief and anger and stuck it in God’s face.
 
Dod God strike them down with plagues, famine, or thunderbolts for daring to oppose his sovereign might? No.
 
And that’s in the Bible.
 
What can we learn from this? Here is what Brueggemann said:  “Churches should be the most honest place in town, not the happiest place in town.”
 
Maybe we have lost the “art of lament,” where complaining to God is part of the deal. Maybe, rather than playing church and make-believe, a vital dimension of the spiritual journey is giving God an earful now and then. Maybe God can handle it. Maybe God likes it, because it means we are being real and not fake.
 
Maybe if you’re angry with God now and then, you’re normal. Maybe that’s part of being the people of God.