From Lament to Hope: Preparing for a Time “When Life is Good Again”
September 16, 23, 30, October 7
Facilitator: Dr. Dan Pigg
Time: 6–6:45 p.m.
Zoom Discussions, Signup Link: https://tinyurl.com/GSLLamenttoHope
Zoom ID: 6199086694, Passcode: 1720
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dolly Parton wrote a song and a music video has been produced about our current time. In “When Life is Good Again,” written in the form of a lament that leads to hope, Dolly Parton speaks with the voice that many of us realize now. There is so much we don’t know. There is so much we are still processing, and there is a considerable distance to go before we find what we thought were our regular patterns of life. Lament is the way we cope with life; it provides a time of reflection. It asks us to think out of the box—to think of others, to think of our God, and to think about how we fit into the community.
The writer of Lamentations in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible helps the community to understand one of the most catastrophic events in the life of Israel/Judah: the fall of the city of Jerusalem in 587 BCE to the Babylonians. The writer addresses the pain of how they got here. The destruction of the Temple in 587 BCE was catastrophic to understanding the community. Lament is not a pity party; it is an organized and methodical look at reality. It provides a way through the crisis with the belief that God’s hand is in it somewhere, even when it is not as clear as the writer or community would like it to be. The hope oracles in the book of the prophet Jeremiah help hearers to understand their current state, and the third portion of Isaiah (chapter 56-66) help hearers to understand what the future from God’s perspective might look like.
Sitting with lament, contemplating the mystery of divine providence, realizing our limitations along with our hopes, dreams, and fears connect us in 2020 to an important period in the history of Israel/Judah which is also our history. Life will be “good again,” but we have to trust the process of time. Lament is important to living into God’s future and ours. Class participants will explore that movement over our four weeks of meetings via Zoom.