A few days ago, a member of a small group Tress and I have been a part of, sent us a link to an article by N.T. Wright. This jumped out at me:
The point of lament, woven thus into the fabric of the biblical tradition, is not just that it’s an outlet for our frustration, sorrow, loneliness and sheer inability to understand what is happening or why. The mystery of the biblical story is that God also laments. Some Christians like to think of God as above all that, knowing everything, in charge of everything, calm and unaffected by the troubles in his world. That’s not the picture we get in the Bible. (See here:Tom Wright on Lament)
Then when Mark Simon spoke on it at St Alf’s online service yesterday morning, I thought maybe that the act of lamenting is what we ought to be thinking about at this time. The idea of God lamenting, takes the fact that we are created in His image, to a new level. God laments. We are created in His image. We too, lament.
Living in a hitherto prosperous community such as Australia, often obfuscates many realities in life on this fatigued planet. While the world sinks to its knees, many Australians continue to look for simple fun things to do like going to the beach or hanging out with friends in a dinner party, albeit a home dinner party. The epicurean thread wants to rule. It is so hard for churches in this community to embrace lament.
It is now week 4 since we became house bound. The one time we headed out beyond a 1-2 km boundary this past couple of weeks, was to buy food from the Malaya Inn restaurant. It was about a 15 min drive, maybe 15km away. We went grocery shopping at the shopping center near us on Saturday. That was a 1.5km trip, probably. It was also a dark, cold, windy and wet weekend. The rain kept on right through the weekend. We only caught a couple of small windows, when the rain abated, to take the little fellow out for a walk around the block. Those walks did us a world of good too, as my usual Sunday activities of St Alf’s, lunch and cooking, only just lifted me above an otherwise gloomy weekend.