Preaching Connection: Lament

Reading for Preaching

“Concerning Lament”

Salter: the regular lament is a stylized complaint to God: it’s plaintive, it often acknowledges sin (as Lamentations does—“five difficult poems expressing sadness and anger”); it sometimes protests innocence (as Job does), and always or almost always has praise somewhere. Claus Westermann says that the point of the plaintive lament is to get around to...
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Additional content related to Lament

1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a

Sample sermon: When I go to different parts of the U.S. or Canada to speak or to preach, I often travel alone.  When I do, I sometimes enjoy going out to eat by myself at a restaurant.  It can be very interesting just to watch people and observe what is going on in ways you…

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Psalm 22:19-28

Ordinary Time is just beginning yet the Lectionary directs us to a sometimes difficult psalm.  Yes, we are being asked to consider only the hope-filled, praise-filled conclusion to this poem but it’s not as though we can forget its terrible opening set of verses.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” brings us…

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Psalm 80:1-7

If you are going to choose a Psalm of Lament for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, you may as well include the most Adventy and hopeful part of the Psalm!  But the RCL did not do that, choosing to break off the reading of Psalm 80 already at verse 7.  Had they gone on to…

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Ruth 1:1-18

To my mind stopping the reading of Ruth 1 at verse 18 is the narrative equivalent of ending the movie Field of Dreams just before the moment when Ray encounters his long-dead and estranged father on his magical Iowa baseball diamond.  Why stop short of the scene that brings the whole thing together!? So trust…

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Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

Most of what makes Psalm 89 such an interesting poem cannot be seen if you restrict yourself to just the verses that the Lectionary has carved out of the psalm’s full 52 verses.  Because this poem that begins in such an upbeat tone and with such a full-throated desire to sing praise to God for…

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Psalm 138

Our prayer life should be our autobiography, C.S. Lewis once observed.  But that is also why Lewis thought the Hebrew Psalter was such a fitting prayer book since it contains prayers that fit a wide variety of life’s experiences.  Were the 150 Psalms all in one particular emotional register, what help would it be for…

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Psalm 80:1-7

If you are going to choose a Psalm of Lament for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, you may as well include the most Adventy and hopeful part of the Psalm!  But the RCL did not do that, choosing to break off the reading of Psalm 80 already at verse 7.  Had they gone on to…

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Psalm 22:19-28

I can easily imagine a 21st century psychologist reading this Psalm for the first time and calling it “The Bi-Polar Psalm,” because of its sudden wild swings of mood. The Psalmist seems to have two totally different minds here. Are these the words of a person driven to mental instability by the clash between his…

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