As we slowly work toward the beginning of the new church plant here in Launceston, I have the privilege of visiting many different churches across Tasmania.
I’ve been reflecting on the book of Micah for a series I’m preaching, and a question has been lingering…. “Is there a place for lament in our lives and churches? What place does lament have in the new church? “
Micah is a lamenting prophet. The idea of lament appears in chapter 1. He mourns sin, injustice and coming judgment from God.
“Because of this I will lament and wail; I will walk barefoot and naked. I will howl like the jackals and mourn like ostriches. For her wound in incurable and has reached even Judah; it has approached my people’s city gate, as far as Jerusalem.” Micah 1:8-9
Micah’s lament on behalf of his people points the reader toward the greatest prophet, Jesus, who speaks his word, weeps for Jerusalem and then dies for the sin of his people.
The gospel of grace shines ever so bright when we understand the reality of what sin deserves and what Christ has accomplished. God’s judgment isn’t a trivial or light matter. Therefore, our prayer and aim is to point people to Jesus, the only person where people can find mercy and grace.
In Micah’s and Jesus’ example we see a place for lament in the christian life. What should this look like in Grace Presbyterian? As we plan for the new church, we want to include lament in the liturgy of worship, in the prayers and songs, to express our sorrow but in a way which leans upon and hopes in God.