The following is a mirror post from the staff blog at College Park. I am going to try to use the idea of mirror posts to get started blogging again on blogger.
"The shadows prove the sun..."
I sat in Spraggins Hall at UAH last night and listened to these words sung by Switchfoot.* I usually think that the lyrics of contemporary Christian songs are, ummm…cheesy. That’s why it was such a refreshing surprise to hear songs dealing with topics like unbridled consumerism, and in this case, lament.
Walter Brueggemann in his work on the Psalms has brought to light the fact that lament was a regular part of the worship in Psalms. Why do we feel that we must “overcome” our lament? Can we not find God in the midst of our lament? Unfortunately many Christians, especially in Pentecostal circles, have adopted the “don’t speak it into existence” theology. I am fully aware that there are things around me right now that I need to lament. I will not try to run away from them, push them under the rug, or pretend like everything is always fine. I will choose to worship God by lamenting over the things that break the heart of God. I will also choose to lament each and every time that God’s will falls secondary to the wills of those who seem to know better.
To give up our ability to worship through lament, is to give up on the idea of a covenanting God. The covenant is a two-sided agreement. “I will be your God and YOU will be my people.” Lament is one thing that draws us into covenantal relationship with God, which is after all, the point. To refuse to lament is to believe that God is some type of cosmic Santa Claus that only hands out blessings to the people of God if they are good. We are not bystanders in the providential rule of God but, as much as we live in the kingdom of God, are co-workers with God in the great creation restoration project that finds its fulfillment in the resurrected Christ.
The question that I must ask myself now is this: “do I only focus only upon the ‘blessings’ of God and in so doing miss what God is doing in the shadows? Do I run away from the lament in my life and pretend that everything is great?”
Do I really believe that the shadows prove the Sun?