Get up, God!
(The Message Paraphrase)
Get up, God! Are you going to sleep all day?
Wake up! Don’t you care what happens to us?
Why do you bury your face in the pillow?
Why pretend things are just fine with us?
And here we are—flat on our faces in the dirt,
held down with a boot on our necks.
Get up and come to our rescue.
If you love us so much, Help us!
Someone told me on Sunday, "I just got up one day and shouted at God." I responded, "Well, that is what the Psalmists did too."
One of the most startling things I read in the wake of yesterday's school shooting, this time in our own backyard, was CBS news reporting, "It was the nation's first fatal school shooting of 2018."
First? Sadly, it isn't the first school shooting, it is the first fatal school shooting. Either way, I can't wrap my brain around that.
GET UP, GOD! ARE YOU GOING TO SLEEP ALL DAY?
Could you imagine, if when the Columbine shooting happened, the news reported, "This is the first this year"?
Religion is a tool that helps us make sense of chaos around us. It puts order into the disorder of life. It helps us put the pieces back together.
But, as people of faith, it seems appropriate today to remind ourselves of the ancient and faithful practice of lament. Did you know that of 150 psalms, 50 are classified as lament?
Sometimes it doesn't help to make meaning too quickly, like when someone says to the grieving, "Oh, it must just be a part of God's plan."
I don't know about you, but I do not believe that our children killing one another at school is a part of God's plan. I believe that God's heart is breaking with ours in this moment.
At a workshop on Lament, at General Assembly last summer, Rev. Jose Morales presented four traits of Biblical lament:
1- The addressee is always God. He noted, often people will say that our complaints are evidence of a lack of faith, but he pointed out that if GOD is the addressee, isn't that the truest and deepest demonstration of faith?
2- Sometimes it is personal and sometimes it is communal. There tends to be a sense of urgency.
3- It is spoken from multiple perspectives. Most of us are victims and perpetrators. Lament is rooted in trust- trust not in our trustworthiness, but in God's.
4- Lament always calls for action for God and for us. Jose pointed to an Augustine quote, "Us without God cannot. God without us will not."
Many Disciples families in Kentucky have been shaken by this tragedy, and today we pray with all those affected. We have somehow become numb to the words school shooting, and yet, when it affects our church family, we hear it in a totally different way.
We pray for parents sending their children to school today, hoping and praying that they will be safe. We pray for victims and perpetrators. And we pray, crying out to God, to help us to help ourselves to stop this madness.
Posted on Wed, January 24, 2018
by Megan Huston