Readings for the Week of October 5

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Laments

When curse words aren’t enough.

Psalm 37

Psalm 137

Lamentations 1:1-6

Lamentations 3:19-26

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

2 Timothy 1:1-14

Luke 17:5-10

Impeachment, subpoenas, screaming political pundits, and speculation about another civil war. Watching the nightly news can be migraine inducing. The more time one spends listening to all the arguers proportionally increases one’s level of anxiety. This kind of discourse may be new to us but it isn’t new to God. If we are made anxious by the way the world is turning we can trust that He isn’t.

It is critical we remember that God’s people have endured much worse than our current political crisis. The stories, songs, and prophecies of Scripture are resources that go largely unused. And, when they are used, they are often used poorly. This week I’ve included both the regularly scheduled readings and the alternate readings. The alternate readings are provided for a variety of reasons but I suspect one reason is to avoid having a verse like Psalm 137 read aloud in the worship service. We’ll get to hear that Psalm this week, in all of its anti-glory this Saturday.

Finally, all of Wichita (including many Wheatlanders), are mourning the sudden and tragic loss of Thomas Stanley. His loss makes no sense at all. The laments found in the Psalms do not make loss less painful but they do provide us with something we can honestly do in the midst of it. To lament is to complain, it is to grieve, and it is to name the pain as best we can. May Lord have mercy.

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul Hill