The book of Lamentations is written as a musical and poetic expression of grief. Written in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE by the Babylonian Empire, the author sits among the ashes and laments the devastation. While the explanation that God is causing the suffering as a punishment for Judah’s “multitude of her transgressions” may not square with our own theology of grace, Lamentations does call us to take sin and its consequences seriously. And not only our personal sin, but that of a nation as well. Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets call for God’s people to turn from idolatry, from apathy towards and abuse of the poor, and from the toleration of injustice.
To what degree do you believe the current state of division and disparity within our own nation are related to those same practices? What steps could you take as an individual to root out these sins in your own life?
Today, make your own prayer of lament. It might be over the state of the nation, but it may just as well be about a circumstance in your life. Be honest about your pain and spend some time in that state of openness before God.