So many things in our world at the moment require lament. So many current circumstances conspire to crush our hearts and leave us wondering when our hope will arise. Lament: the passionate expression of grief or sorrow. Lament: not a failure of faith, but an act of deep, purposeful faithfulness.
As communities we need to learn again the embodiment and language of lament. One significant way we engage in this embodiment and language is through shared song. Music has tremendous power to validate sorrow and set it free. Music in community has the power to join us together in shared hope. Lament teaches us that there are things that are difficult and painful. There are many things that we do not understand, and even some things that we cannot change.
But our purposefulness in sharing the burden, in acknowledging our struggle and holding together to faith that assures us that all things will be made new, keeps our eyes on Jesus.
Music gives meaningful expression to lament. May this music inspire you to find the songs that make space for lament in your own life and in the life of your community.
Everything is far and long gone by. I think that the star glittering above me has been dead for a million years. I think there were tears in the car I heard pass and something terrible was said. A clock has stopped striking in the house across the road… When did it start?… I would like to step out of my heart and go walking beneath the enormous sky. I would like to pray. And surely of all the stars that perished long ago, one still exists. I think that I know which one it is– which one, at the end of its beam in the sky, stands like a white city…
Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony #5, Largo
Loren Mazel, The Cleveland Orchestra
Vardan Hovanissian and Emre Gultekin
(read an album review here)