"Weeping With Hope"
My joy is gone, grief is upon me,
my heart is sick.
Hark, the cry of my poor people
from far and wide in the land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion?
Is her King not in her?”
(“Why have they provoked me to
anger with their images,
with their foreign idols?”)
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
and we are not saved.”
For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,
I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of my poor people
not been restored?
O that my head were a spring of water,
and my eyes a fountain of tears,
so that I might weep day and night
for the slain of my poor people!
There are times, dear God, yes, there are times when events and issues facing us overwhelm us. All we can do is lament – weep and cry out in response to the injustices in our communities and around the world.
Another mass shooting. Listen, God, to the cry of the people in anguish and terror from violence! Hurtful language used to demean others. We mourn with dismay at how we treat one another!
Misinformation propagated to divide and delude those who read or watch it. Our hearts are sick!
Pandemics and poverty with unequal distribution of and access to resources. Is there no balm in Gilead?
With the prophet Jeremiah, we lament. The summer is ended – generations have come and gone – and still – still – still, we are not saved. We have not found ways to live together in equity or generosity or true hospitality. We weep day and night for our world, for our communities and, yes, for ourselves.
And yet, in the midst of lament, our questions and our tears teach us that we believe that God is present. Our laments and cries at injustice and pain show that we believe that justice and healing are God’s ways of presence. We believe that God listens to our cries. We believe that there is balm in Gilead – there is balm in every place where people are hurting. We weep and lament in hope for a better world, a better way of living together in community. We know that Jesus taught and demonstrated in his very life, how we can serve together toward fulfilling God’s creative, life-giving Spirit-energy in our lives, in our world.
We weep and lament in hope.
We find ways to work with God toward transformation and new life.
We collaborate with others to develop systems and communities of peace and hope for all.
We speak up and speak out with words of truth and justice.
We find ways to give and share our resources so that others have enough.
We repent of our own wrongs and resolve to wake up and live into our Wesleyan Christian heritage of abounding grace, of personal and social holiness, of open and welcoming communion and community for every-one.
When we live as Christ has taught us, when we work together in hope, when we seek for and act with God’s transforming and healing presence, we discover the greatness of God. And God turns our laments into dancing and clothes us with joy. (Psalm 30:11)
God of hope and promise, we offer our laments and weeping to your transforming grace. We offer our tears and prayers to your life-changing and life-giving blessings. We dedicate our living and our actions to your Spirit of justice and peace. Thank you for your transformational gifts of tears and laments and of dancing and joy. As always, we pray in the name of the One who taught us how to live: Jesus Christ. Amen.