Lament (Proper 22C)

This week’s Scriptures deal with lament or the expression of pain. These suggestions sample from alternate expressions of lament in dance, music and art. For some, the emotions stirred up by taking the time to lament may be more than these simple suggestions can handle. If that is your situation, please seek help from a counselor or therapist.

Lamentations 1:1-6
In this passage the destroyed city of Jerusalem is symbolized as a woman without any comfort available. It’s important to consider this isn’t about a woman, but the personified city that is being abandoned. Watch Martha Graham’s Lamentation, paying attention to the expressions and body positions of lament. There are two possibilities for today:
1. Select a song that speaks of lament, pouring out your pain, and dance your lament.
2. Find a still image from the Martha Graham performance and write your lament in the background.

Lamentations 3:19-26
Lamentations 3 is the chapter where confidence is expressed in God, but it fluctuates between expressions of pain (vs. 19-20) and confidence (vs. 22-26). If you are dealing with pain, take out a white piece of paper and using a black pen write out your pain. Feel free to overlap the writing by writing in different directions or sizes. Once you have that out, get a white pen and write where God has been in your life in the past. Just like with the expressions of pain, overlap the expressions of confidence. Then write verse 24 (“The LORD is my portion, therefore I will hope in him.”) in your favorite color in the white space created by the expressions of confidence.

Psalm 137 (alternate selection)
Listen to this acoustic version of Psalm 137 a few times. Then write your own lament about what people request of you that you can’t fulfill.

2 Timothy 1:1-14
I want to focus on verses 6-7, because there are three words that help us be resilient through traumatic events: power, love and self-discipline. Begin by journaling on each of these words separately including how they are present in your own life. Then create your own inspirational artwork focusing on the verses.

Luke 17:5-10
Before doing anything else with this passage, write down what you think “faith” is.

Then read the passage, write down what you think Jesus was teaching the disciples about faith.

According to Lisa Marie Belz, Jesus teaches the disciples about fidelity or “how they are to relate to God, view their service to God. Faith, in Greek, pistis, is thus more than mere belief or intellectual assent to doctrines and dogmas. … Faith, then, is not at all about some spectacular assurance that Jesus is for real; on the contrary, it has to do with fidelity to God in the daily round of life, recognizing ourselves as servants doing our duty.” Do you agree?

 

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Categories: Ordinary Time/Propers, Year C | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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