Yesterday we reflected on 2007 (seemed like the right thing to do) and engaged in worship together through lament, praise, and thanksgiving. As we prepared for Sunday it struck all of us at how seldom we lament in our corporate gatherings. Somehow we have equated worship with the praise and thanksgiving psalm while over one third of the rest of OT psalms are laments. The reality, however, for many as they come to the end of 2007 is that this year as many other years is not only a year of joy but also one of great sorrow, one of gain and loss. Some sense great direction in their life others feel like they are stuck without any real movement towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
We have a hard time envisioning a group of people gathering together to sing laments to God. Or when we do lament we are quick to move to the anticipation of hope and praise found often in lament psalms instead of lingering in the awkwardness of expressing together our frustration with God. Lets face it no one likes a whiner. Worst yet who wants to go to church on Sunday and listen to a bunch of people unload all of their baggage on God?
And yet here are the lament psalms that call us in the midst of great hope and trust in God to express our frustration with God.
So yesterday in the midst of praise and thanksgiving we expressed lament. I see this as a sign of maturity. It might not be a great church growth strategy but it is a sign of church health.