Life with Jesus / race / Social Justice

Sermon: Communal Lament and Modern Sackcloth

My friend Sarah and I preached on Lamentations 4 on Sunday. You can listen to it here.

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Here’s a written excerpt from my conclusion:

People of privilege, I interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to give you good news.

God does miraculous things in the midst of suffering and we do not have to be left out.

We are not enslaved to continuing to build earthly kingdoms that protect our privilege, keep us too busy and blind to the miracles of the kingdom that God is bringing to Earth but the cost is steep. We trade in our privilege and riches and our twin idols of security and comfort for sackcloth and mourning and dissonance but we gain our humanity. We gain an opportunity to participate in bringing God’s kingdom here on Earth. To be clear, we do not don sackcloth and practice lament as martyrs- so that we can feel good about feeling bad.

We do so as an itchy, lingering reminder to ourselves that we are a part of systems that benefit us and harm others.  In a world that gives us gold stars for our white skin, our knowledge of the English language, our citizenship in one of the world’s richest countries, our financial stability, we wear sackcloth as a reminder that those gold stars are meaningless.

We do so as a reminder to be interrupted and present with the suffering of the marginalized and underresourced across the world, not that we co opt their suffering, but that we see it, hear it, and stand with them against it.

People of privilege, I interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to give you good news. Lament is a gift God has given us. Let us learn to do it well.

3 thoughts on “Sermon: Communal Lament and Modern Sackcloth

  1. Wonderful sermon, Beth! It’s very encouraging to hear so many receptive voices too! I hope I love your examples and you’ve got a great way of teaching and making this ugly reality accessible and understandable for everyone.

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