Lamentations: Walking with God Through Suffering, Silence, and Uncertainty
Week #1 "The Lost Art of Lament" - Lamentations 1
Lamentations deals directly and honesty with the brokenness, suffering, and wickedness of this world. How have you seen the brokenness of this world in your life, your city, or on the news this week?
The Bible is brutally honest in it's depiction of the suffering of this fallen world, can you name some books beside Lamentations, verses, and stories where people suffer, calling out to God, and lament over the brokenness of the world, their sin, and their spiritual coldness?
Why does Christian culture often project the image that everyone is fine, everyone is smiling, everyone is happy, nobody is suffering, sick, dying, and struggling with doubt? Why is it important for Christians to understand that emotional maturity is spiritual maturity?
Lamentations is a book of poetic grief, funeral dirges for Nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. How does poetry uniquely provoke our feelings as well as our thoughts? Do you have a favorite poem or poet and if so, what is draws you to that poem or that poet's work?
Pastor Kyle shared four reasons for Rainier Valley Church to study the book of Lamentations
Humanizes, validates, dignify those who are suffering. Are their personal, family or other sufferings that you're currently walking through that you need to share with your Community Group? Can CGs provide space for those who are suffering?
Suffering is never neutral - Since suffering will change us, why is it important for us to think about, and reflect on how it's changing us? How has the suffering you've experienced changed you?
Learning the awkward language of Lament - If we insist that being a christian means that we're always happy-clappy folks, how are we fundamentally warping our kids understanding of the Christian life and what it means to be human?
Equipping us to Suffering Well - Why is it important for us to be equipped to suffering well and not be surprised when suffering comes into our lives?
Lamentations is a challenging book to study, many of us don't like poetry, we don't like our emotions, we don't like to think about our past, we don't like to think about death. What challenges do you personally bring to the book of Lamentations?
Do you regularly lament the hardships you experience? If so, how do you lament?
Pastor Kyle mentioned that If we do not lament our sufferings we will end up denying them, distracting ourselves or demanding everything from other people. What sorts of negative behaviors and actions have you seen manifested in yourself when you don't lament?
Please take some time to pray for those who are suffering in your group (May be helpful to lay hands on them as a symbol of support and solidarity) and make a plan to pray for them through this next week.
Write you own Lament Poem - Reflect on the suffering you have/are experiencing in your own life or that you're seeing in the world around you and entering into those feeling through writing a personal Lament poem. This experience isn't about writing style, or the structure of your prose, you don't have to share this poem is you don't want to, but take the time to cry out to God through writing your own lament.