Does anyone else’s Sunday night feel a little empty when we don’t gather? I missed you all last night. Lament may not be the practice we’d like an extra week on, but isn’t that the very reason it is so important? If you need a reminder, here are our kingdom practices from last week and an update on the communal lament.
(1) Fast from distractions and lean into Jesus: Abstain from activities you use to distract yourself from pain and sadness and fill that space by leaning into Jesus. You may practice a prayer of imagination, journaling, silence, or anything else that helps you feel the emotions associated to your pain and share them with God.
(2)Write a lament: Make some time in the next two weeks to write a personal prayer of lament and share it with a trusted friend. If it is helpful, use this pattern Jenna shared with us in February.
- Cry out to God (your address to God);
- Complaint (your anger, pain, heartache, or sadness);
- Affirmation of Trust (your remembrance of God’s presence in your past);
- Petition/Request (your deepest desire);
- Additional Argument (anything more, why God should intervene);
- Rage against Your Enemies (bringing your enemies before God);
- Assurance of Being Heard (what you need to feel heard);
- Promise to Offer Praise to God (the promise you can offer to God); and
- Assurance (the attribute of God you are thankful for in the moment).
(3) Join a communal lament: If you are like me, your heart has been broken by the violence and racial injustice in our city, and you are wondering what you can do. Soong-Rah Chan says our entry point to engaging injustice is lament, and next weekend we have an opportunity to join in a communal lament.
A group of organizational leaders in Chicago are arranging a vigil of bereavement to provide a place to stand in solidarity and support of leaders of color. They are seeking to create a safe space to grieve, lament, and share stories, creating more dimensions in the narrative of the movement. The vigil will be held Monday, October 10th. It begins at 6pm at the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens (1801 S. Indiana Avenue). If you would like to carpool, let’s meet at the chapel entrance at 4:15. I hope you can join us.
Jason and The Practice Team