Lamentations 3: 1 – 24
The Lamentations passage today contains the profound and extraordinary verses of trust and hope which many of us hold onto in times of great trial, sorrow and grief. If you can bear to, come this morning into the passionate covenant relationship expressed here between God and His people.
Lament is frankly the only appropriate response to the trauma, injustice, pain and suffering which confronts us day to day. It may be our own personal experiences and stories, it may be the travails of the world, it may be the disintegration of the institutional church under the horror and shame of child sexual abuse. Lament is our expression of grief and sorrow, and Lamentations is the poetic record of the Hebrew grief and sorrow at their destruction, exile and dispossession. Lamentations is our communal expression of rage and sorrow, our communal attempt to find purpose and meaning amidst terrible sadness and pain.
When faced with unbearable heartache, with cruel injustice, with unceasing sorrows, it is to God that the people of Lamentations cry out. God, I feel afraid of you; God, I feel betrayed by you; God, you do not listen to me, you turn away from me; God you have abandoned me; God, I am utterly bereft of peace, health and happiness, I am empty.
…And then, like the pin prick of a torch light through a night of pitch dark; like a fragile, wavering candle flame in a blackout, comes verse 21.
But this I will call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
This new morning, let us hold in prayer those of us who are in terrible pain, who feel in utter darkness.
This new morning, may our God light in us again a hope, a hope in His faithfulness, a hope in his mercies. As certain as the arrival of morning, is our God’s steadfast love.