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A Time to Lament

I look around and see rancor, ignorance, division, tribalism, nationalism, dishonesty, and sin in the midst of many crises—racial injustice and a pandemic that has sidelined the sick and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and economic loss leaving millions unemployed. Hurricane season is on top of us, and apparently the forecast suggests a busy year. And last year’s issues haven’t gone away—#metoo, #churchtoo, the future for Dreamers (DACA) and the treatment of asylum seekers at the southern border. 

I believe that God wants our attention.

You may be like me—troubled by groups of hurting people, appalled by the lack of moral leadership in government and even the church, and saddened by divisions. What do we do? Where do we start?

It’s time to lament by naming our sins. David’s lament in Psalm 51 models that for us.

God first wants the church’s attention so that we repent of our own idols and sins. We like to quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 (not a promise to the church but a good pattern). I’m noticing, however, how many of us have ignored the call for God’s people (“my people”) to “turn from their wicked ways.” We want “them” to repent instead of us.

To confess well we must face truth, asking God to open our minds and hearts as we research for ourselves what’s going on and overcome our willing and unknown blind spots, tribalism and nationalism. Then we fall on his mercy for us and our country.

Just as Daniel confessed the sins of his people the Jews, I confess and lament on behalf of myself and the church, which in my case is the white evangelical church. Won’t you join me?

We confess our elevating concern for what’s best for the United States over your kingdom, O God. Teach us to trust you with our earthly home while we seek first your kingdom. 

Lord, have mercy.

We confess our unconcern over the plight of refugees, rarely considering the Golden Rule—treating others as we would want to be treated. 

Lord, have mercy.

We confess being more concerned about the rule of law and safety than loving people. Remind us that we are beneficiaries of your complete pardon and citizens of your kingdom all by your grace, not because we earned it. 

Lord, have mercy.

We confess that instead of really listening, we’ve dismissed the experiences of people with ethnicities and experiences unlike ours, especially people of color and victims of abuse.

Lord, have mercy.

We confess our unconcern about the systemic injustice, prejudice, and inequality in wealth, education, and opportunity that occurs because of the continuing impact of slavery, Jim Crow laws, redlining, and racism, that were all done with the support or silent collusion of the church and our government.

Lord, have mercy.

We have propagated lies about those with whom we disagree on social media by sharing stories and posts that are untrue and unkind, often without researching their truthfulness because we harbor hatred in our hearts.

Lord, have mercy.

We confess failing to see all people as made in your image: those who sin grievously and yet are not out of your reach, those with whom we disagree politically, and those who have fled danger and violence in their countries.

Lord, have mercy.

We confess the lying, slander, and hatred that has overtaken our political conversations. 

Lord, have mercy.

We confess failure to speak up for truth and justice regardless of the consequences to us personally. 

Lord, have mercy.

We confess failure to listen thoughtfully and compassionately to understand others, not fix them or argue with them. 

Lord, have mercy.

We confess lack of unity in the body of Christ because of politics and prejudice. 

Lord, have mercy.

We confess failing to trust you by turning to idols to save us—political parties, governmental leaders or military power when you alone are our Refuge and Protector.

Lord, have mercy.

We confess worshipping idols of comfort, safety, prosperity, and entertainment by prioritizing them above your kingdom. 

Lord, have mercy.

We confess a lack of love for the least of these: victims of crime, prejudice, illness, and injustice; the poor and needy; those displaced by war and famine; the unborn, children, single parents, slaves, and the homeless. 

Lord, have mercy.

LORD, HAVE MERCY ON US AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS YOUR CHURCH.


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Kay Daigle

Kay is a life-long Texan whose favorites are Tex-Mex, books that feed her soul or make her think, good movies and travel to new places. Her great joy is to serve God by teaching the Bible and developing women as servant-leaders. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries, which provides free videos, podcasts and articles as well as low-cost Bible studies to prepare Christian women for leadership. (beyondordinarywomen.org) Kay spent ten years leading women’s ministries on church staffs, most recently at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. Kay is the author of From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence, a practical guide to help Christian women influence others by applying foundational leadership skills to their lives and ministries, and a number of Bible studies for women, some are available at bible.org and the newer ones are found at beyondordinarywomen.org. Kay earned an M.A.C.E. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Effective Ministries to Women. Kay’s family includes a husband, two grown children, one son-in-law, two hysterical granddaughters, one aged Westie and a Goldendoodle puppy.

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