An Ash Wednesday Lament

Our service at Bloom was stunningly beautiful last night.  Together with our friends at Hope Community Church, in a near standing-room-only basement, we gathered together to “name” and lament the many deaths, and our responsibility and complicity in those deaths, that surround us.  It was powerful.

Part of the night included a prayer I wrote to help guide us into a spirit of lament.  I figured I’d share it here.

Blessings,

Andrew

Lord of life, we come to you tonight to name and grieve the many “deaths” that surround us…

The death of hopes

The death of dreams

The death of expectations

We put so much in our idea of what the future will be, and when it becomes obvious that it will not be as we imagined, it is hard for us… Still, we name it

Tonight we grieve…

That our relationships are estranged

That our bodies are broken

That our pet projects are failing

These things are impossibly difficult for us to say, and they cause us great embarrassment… But we say them anyway

We lament before you, our Lord and Maker

That deep down

We don’t trust you

We don’t love you

And we have persistent, nagging doubts about your goodness

And it feels like mutiny to say so

Everyone told us that life with you would be bliss, but instead we have experienced only… Confusion, frustration, rejection, and deep feelings of being abandoned by you

It hurts

All of it hurts

And add to it the vague feeling that it’s our own stupid, rebellious choices that have been largely responsible for the mess we’re in, and it’s like salt in the wound

It’s not working, Lord

None of it is working

All of it is going to ashes

And you seem far

It’s as bad as it seems

And so we lift our hearts to you tonight, Lord of life

If it pleases you, hear us

And breathe life into our every desolation

In the Name of the One who entered our desolation we dare to ask.  Amen.

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