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18
Dec

Learning to Lament – Newtown, CT

Posted on December 18th, 2012

The painful images of the funerals of the children from Sandy Hook elementary school is an invitation from God for us to learn to lament. David not only sang this lamentation; he ordered the people to learn it, memorize it and inhabit it as their experience. After the terrible, tragic deaths of Saul and Jonathan, we read: David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and ordered that the men of Judah be taught this lament of the bow: “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights.  How the mighty have fallen!…Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon….O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul …How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. 2 Samuel 1:17-20; 24-25 Eugene Peterson says it well: “Pain isn’t the worst thing… Death isn’t the worst thing. The worst thing is failing to deal with reality and becoming disconnected from what is actual…What I do with my grief affects the way you handle your grief; together we form a community that deals with death and other loss in the context of God’s sovereignty, which is expressed finally in resurrection….We don’t become mature human beings by getting lucky or cleverly circumventing loss, and certainly not by avoidance and distraction. Learn to lament. Learn this lamentation. We’re mortals, after all. We and everyone around are scheduled for death (mortis). Get used to it. Take up your cross. It prepares us and those around us for resurrection.” Let’s take some time today to lament the painful reality of these losses.


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