This past Sunday, we kicked off The Storm at the Billings Vineyard; our four-week journey through the book of Jonah. Here are a few thoughts to refresh the wave tops of what we discussed:
- The book is more about God than it is about Jonah… We see the nature of God revealed in his response to wickedness and his response to Jonah
- Jonah’s response was not running out of fear but breaking relationship with God because of God’s response to wickedness
- To understand the nature of the call we must understand the nature of the Caller.
This week we dive into chapter two. Jonah is in the fish and finally begins a dialogue with God. We could argue about how much Jonah really meant the prayer found in chapter two, and discuss whether or not this is a sign of repentance, a cry of lament or both; either way, Jonah cites several psalms and seems to process through his situation as he cries out to God.
This brings us to the relational action of the Lament. Prayers or songs of lament are used throughout scripture asa mechanism to process difficult, hard to understand experiences. The book ofLamentations is an Old Testament collection of poems of lament that demonstrated this activity for us. Check out this short Bible Project video that walks through the Book of Lamentations and the function of the lament: https://youtu.be/p8GDFPdaQZQ
This video provides an excellent over view of the purpose of the Lament:
- They are a form of protest
- They are a way to process emotion
- They are an avenue to voice confusion
As we prepare for this week, would considering lament be helpful in processing with God? Are there elements in your relationship with God that have you hurt, confused, angry, or that you just don’t understand? Perhaps an issue of injustice that you suffered at the hands of someone else… where was God in that? A loss or tragedy… why did that happen? These can be rifts between us and God, or we can use them to strength en our understanding of who God is and what we mean to him.
Consider writing a lament of your own. I fit helps, use this as a template (use Psalm 4 as an example of this template):
1. Start by addressing God in a personal way
2. Articulate the problem… Share your complaint, confusion and anger
3. Work to a confession of trust…Verbalize your trust in God in spite of your complaint
4. Ask for God to intercede in the problem. Ask for his divine activity for your healing
5. Make an offering of praise
I would love to be a part of this with you. If you choose to write a lament and would be willing to share it, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.