Thanksgiving and lament, gratitud y lamento

Thanksgiving and lament, gratitud y lamento. The both/and of kingdom theology charges us with the need to inhabit both those spaces. As Christians, we see this contrast and presence in so many places throughout Scripture. One could even argue that the themes of thanksgiving and lament are the most compelling, timeless themes in Scripture.

For example, looking at Isaiah 58–

  • We are charged to …raise our voices like trumpets (v.1)
  • declare to people our rebellion and sin (v.1).
  • All the while, we exploit others, quarrel, strike others, and expect our voices to be heard on high (v. 3-4).

Joy and sorrow, thanksgiving and lament–

Verses 6-12 are some of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. I reference them in books I write, in sermons I preach, and they are probably CCDA’s most referenced banner verses:

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

We need and are desperate for God’s help. We need God’s glory and guidance. We need his presence to look inward and to act and focus outward.
May we be a people of Isaiah 58- deeply knowing grief, yet moving with grit and fortitude in the footsteps and shadow, as well as anticipation, of our Savior.

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