Language of Lament

Language of Lament

Pastor Jerry Gillis - June 7, 2020

Community Group Study Notes

  • Have someone in your group provide a 2-minute summary of Sunday’s teaching. 

  • What is one thing that God taught you through this message? 

  • What were the four aspects of Psalm 13 that teach us to speak the language of lament? Why is it important for us to understand this language and speak it rightly? 

  • Read Psalm 13 out loud in your group. The Psalmist lands on four truths about God that help him trust God more deeply. What were those 4 truths about God? In which of these 4 do you need to trust God more? 

  • Take time in your group to pray for one another, using the Scripture (especially Psalm 13) and our conversation today to inform your praying.  


Sermon Transcript

Hello, good morning to everybody. It's so good to see, those of you who are here, we thank God that you're here with us. Those of you who are online, we thank God that you're with us. And it's a mixed emotion kind of day. So some when they come and now the doors are open, at least in some capacity are just beside themselves and super nuked up, which is awesome. And then there's others that through the course of recognizing, looking around and that we're all behind masks and we can only have a handful of people that come. Yeah, it's a mixed emotion kind of scenario. I'm certainly grateful for the opportunity way earlier than phase four to be able to start opening the doors and being able to worship together and Lord willing, continue to move in this direction in the not too distant future.
But I realized that everybody probably has different emotions about everything that's happening kind of in the world that we live in. And here's what I realized, is that everybody speaks the same language when they speak the language of tears and grief, everybody. Like it is a part of the entire condition of what it means to be human, that every one of us knows how to speak that language. And there've been many through the ages who have been voices that speak to grief and to heartache and to sadness and to tears. William Shakespeare said this, said, "Give sorrow words, the grief that does not speak whispers the o-er fraught heart and bids it break." Voltaire, the French enlightenment philosopher said this, "Tears are the silent language of grief."
Washington Irving, who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane, he said this, "There's sacredness in tears. They are not the Mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love." My man C.S. Lewis spoke to this as well. He said, "No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear." And then a civil rights activist from the 1960s named Fannie Lou Hamer said this when speaking at a political rally through tears, she made famous this phrase, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired."
I think every one of us has been feeling a sense of grief and have been shedding some tears, but for some that's been because of the devastation that's occurred related to a global pandemic. That's had an effect on everybody in some way, shape or form. Maybe for some of you that's been because of your own personal sickness or sickness of a family member, or even the loss of a family member due to this. Or maybe it was the loss of a family member that you couldn't be there with because of this pandemic. Or maybe it was the economic devastation that some businesses and some workers are feeling as a result of this time, maybe it's the isolation and the separation that hurts so deeply and that you're experiencing so deeply.
You know, it's a grandmother and a grandfather who can't hug their grandkids. It's a son and a daughter who can't visit their aged mom or dad in an assisted living facility and have to speak to them through a window, as opposed to being able to hold them and hug them and love them. Or it's being able to regather in worship with a church family, but not being able to hug them, high five them, shake their hand. There's a lot there that we can grieve over for sure, but in addition to that, we've also been grieving as a nation over injustices. We grieve the devastation and the trauma that happens to our brothers and sisters of color when yet again, a grave injustice is perpetrated. And we grieve when protests that are both right and protected and needed are hijacked and become violent and lawless and hurtful, hurting those in a community, hurting law enforcement officers who didn't ask for that. 
There are plenty of things that all of us based on our experiences and based in our own ways that we have to be sad or frustrated or angry or heard about. And maybe even through the course of this time, you've even shed some tears. That doesn't make you weak, it makes you human. But I want you to know brothers and sisters, beloved, those of you who claim the name of Jesus, who have been transformed by the grace that he offers us, that we are not just human. We are human all of us, but those who have embraced Jesus Christ, we are more than just human. Because as Paul says actually when he writes about this in Ephesians two, he says that those of us now that are in Christ are a new kind of human. We're a new kind of humanity. And now, even though everybody, everywhere speaks the language of grief and speaks the language of tears, those of us who have been redeemed, we actually get to have a very specific way in which we deal with grief and tears according to the Bible, and it's called lament.
You see, this is a language that we need to learn how to speak this language of lament. Now, by God's grace, by the gift of the spirit, we actually have an entire book in the Canon of scripture that's about lament. It's called Lamentations. It has the word lament in it, and it's written, most scholars believe by Jeremiah. I agree with them that Jeremiah wrote this and Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet. He was lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem. He was lamenting Israel's unbelief. He was lamenting the idolatry that had overcome the hearts of the people of Israel. And he was lamenting that there was a lack of concern for justice and righteousness. And because of all of those things, he wept, he cried, he lamented. 
And see, we need to be more fluent in this language because this language of lament is given to us as believers for us to be able to learn and understand, because it's a language that actually exists between the worlds. You see, there's a world of brokenness, and there's a world that we long for that we know that in Jesus Christ is coming, but is not fully realized yet. It's a language between the worlds. You know, when we're born, we cry. It's the first thing that happens to us when we come out of the womb, we are born crying, almost like it is a foreshadowing of events that we now find ourselves entering into a world that has been broken. And we enter that world by crying, and as we grow up, we realize more and more with the things we see and the things that we face that we are living in a world that is not as it should be. 
That there is a significant brokenness that occurs in this world. And lament is the language that gives us an ability to speak between the world of brokenness and the world of restoration. Simply put, if you wanted to write it down, I said it that way just a moment ago, lament is the language between the world of brokenness and the world of restoration. But see, we don't only have just lamentations to teach us about that, we actually have the Psalms that teach us about that as well, and maybe in a way that's even more instructive because we hear different voices and different people speaking to this idea of lament, this idea of grief. 
Now, when you begin to read in the Psalms, you'll find that there are 150 of them. Some of them are very short, some of them like Psalms 119 are really long, but when we look at all of the Psalms together, of the 150 Psalms that are here in the scripture itself, 42 of them are Psalms of lament, Psalms of grieving, Psalms of sadness. And of those 42, 30 of them are individual or personal laments, and 12 of them are communal, something that could sum up how everybody is feeling. And sometimes you'll have, even in the Psalms, you'll have a Psalm that is communal lament followed by a Psalm of individual lament. We actually have that in Psalm 12 and Psalm 13. We have a communal limit that expresses our emotions about how things are, and then we have an individual one.
Listen to how Psalm 12 is stated, and this is written by David. He says, help Lord for no one is faithful anymore. Those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor. They flatter with their lips, but harbor deception in their hearts. May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue. Those who say by our tongues, we will prevail, our own lips will defend us, who is Lord over us? Because the poor are plundered and the needy grown, I will now arise, says the Lord. I will protect them from those whom align them. And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times. You Lord will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race. 
This is a communal lament. It's something that I think all of us in our hearts and in our lives can put our hearts and our voices, even if they're behind masks can put our hearts and our voices behind. In Psalm 13 is a personal lament. While David leads the community of Israel in lamenting something, he also laments on a personal level. And that's where we're going to spend a few moments of our time today is in Psalm 13. Just like Psalm 12, David wrote this one, but why did he write it? It's fair question, I don't actually know the answer to that. It's possible that he wrote it when King Saul was chasing after him. You remember that right? King Saul being first King over Israel, and eventually what happened was God had removed his hand from Saul and placed his hand on David and said, David is going to be a king after my own heart.
Saul knew this and what happened in Saul's heart early on is that he was jealous of David. David was a warrior and when they would come back from the battle, people would be chanting, "Saul has killed his thousands, but David, his tens of thousands." And the King didn't like that at all. His ego started to get in the way. And where he was jealous it turned into a murderous spirit and he wanted David dead. And eventually he chased David out and David was hiding in the hills and in the crags to stay away from Saul, is that maybe where he wrote the Psalm? It's possible, but I don't know. It could have been when David was ruling as King and he was facing foes from internal in the kingdom or external from the kingdom. As you remember, there was a revolt against him from inside the kingdom led by his own son Absalom. Or it could have been those from, without, I don't know exactly what the need was here, but it was significant.
And David begins to pour himself out in Psalm 13, and we can see this Psalm of lament. Now, the reason that I am highlighting Psalm 13 is because it helps us to see the pattern of the language of lament. Now I'm not the first person to have ever read the Psalms of lament and recognize this pattern. Scholars have seen this for hundreds of years. But I want us to see it and the reason I want us to see it is because we need to learn the language of lament, we need to understand what this language is and how we actually speak it. And in all of the Psalms of lament, you will find about four movements that happen in the Psalms of lament and Psalm 13 is a great illustration of that. 
So let's take a moment to look at what these movements are, how we learned to speak the language of lament. Here's the first movement that I want to call your attention to is that you press into God. I'll explain to you what I'm saying, but I first want us to look at verse number one. Here's what it says, "How long Lord will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?" I find it interesting when I started reading this, that David is hurting, but what he didn't do is he didn't dump all of his emotions and all of his hurts on others alone, he actually pressed into God as first priority. That's why, when he asks these questions that are heartrending to him, he's asking them to the Lord. He's actually pressing into God. 
You se too often what happens when we face trial, when we face oppression, when we face tribulation, when we face heartbreak or heartache, what we sometimes have a tendency to do is instead of pressing into God, we run away from him. And in running away from him, what we do is then we start pressing into family members. We start pressing into friends and we start listening to this. We start pouring our hurts and our angers and our frustration in their direction not putting them in the place that we should. And the very first thing we need to learn about speaking, the language of lament is that we need to press into God. We need to turn to him, not away from him in seasons like this. Because when we turn away from him, maybe not even intentionally, what we do is we give full rise to our hearts, becoming harder and more calloused and more embittered. And we begin aiming our pain and aiming our frustration sometimes in the wrong direction. Start aiming it at people and things. 
Now, sometimes those directions might actually be directions that pain should be aimed in. But other times it may not be and now we're causing significant hurt around us because not everybody can handle us, actually pressing into them in these ways. So we should ask this question, "Before I start pressing into my family members, have I pressed into God?" Before I start pressing into my friends, have I pressed into God? Before I press send on that comments section have I pressed into God? This is what we need ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters beloved. We need to press into God and not run from him. But when we speak the language of lament, that's just the first movement that we get it straight, just like David did. He didn't say how long to someone else. He said, how long Lord will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? He is speaking to God. And that's where we need to bring these things. Because the second movement of the language of lament helps us to see why. And it's this that will pour out our hurts.
We begin by pressing into God, making sure that the conversation that we're having about our hearts and the conversation we're having about our hurts, that we're actually having them with God as first priority. And then we've got the freedom to be able to pour out our hurts. Look what David says in verses one and two, as you read it all together. How long Lord will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? You can see four different times the same phrase is used. How long, how long, how long, how long.
What David is doing here is he is pressing into God and he is pouring out his hurts in an honest way. Aren't you glad that we have a president in scripture for speaking an honest language to God. Friends, brothers, sisters, beloved, God already knows what's in your heart. So the fact that you're giving words to it is not disrespectful it's honest and it's healing. Sometimes it's in the naming of our hurts that we begin the process of healing from them. I did not say that at the first worship gathering. Sometimes it is in the naming of our hurts that we get to the healing of them. This is why it's imperative that we bring, listen, that we bring our hurts and pour them out in the right place.
That we are pressing into God and we are pouring our hurts out before God. I mean, David is wondering how long do I have to deal with these thoughts that are consuming my mind 24 hours a day, seven days a week? How long are you going to feel distant from me God? How long is my enemy going to get to triumph over me God? We may not be able to take all of our hurts and press them into everyone else around us, but we can with God because God can handle it. God understands God gets it. He knows and he understands the violinist of disrespect, of rebellion, of violence and of loneliness. Let me say it this way. The maker of humans came to be with humans and humans murdered him. He understands.
Of anyone anywhere God understands. That's why we press into him and that's why we pour our hearts out in the right place. Because when we begin to pour our hearts out to God, it not only begins to help us in the process of healing because it's sometimes in the naming where the healing starts. But God begins to show us what can help us in the midst of those hurts. You know what also it does? It sensitizes us to the people that are around us and teaches us that maybe we need to leave space for them to be able to grieve too. We need to leave space for them to be able to lament to. Now, yes we want to help them push those hurts to God, we want to help them press into God because that's what we need to do. That's when we learn this language the right way, but we need to be sensitive to our brothers and sisters that are hurting at various times in various ways for various reasons and give them space to lament without just telling them to get over it.
You see, I don't know what people are walking through. You don't know what people are walking through. You don't know what's behind the mask. We're just doing now physically what we often do, invisibly. We don't know what's behind the mask with people. And they're facing their battles and we need to make sure maybe they feel like an enemy is triumphing over them. It may not be a literal enemy like David may have been referring to, but it may be some type of enemy in their world that they feel like is triumphing over them. Maybe they feel like their sorrow is so deep they don't even know how to give words to it and they don't know how to work through it. Maybe they're working through the pain of abuse and don't know quite how to say it at this point. Maybe they've lost someone. Maybe they're struggling with thinking about being treated differently or feeling like the weights of justice aren't weighted in the right direction, simply because of who they are or their ethnicity or their skin color.
Maybe it's because they feel unseen or unheard or unknown I don't know. I just know that we don't always know what's behind the mask. And we need to pour out our hurts listen to God and help people to have space enough, to be able to pour their hearts out to God, because we can be honest with him he already knows. We don't need to put on a mask with God. God I come to you in all of my spiritual grander telling you basically I'm doing great. When maybe you're not doing great. And God already knows your heart he's the maker of you. He already knows how you are and maybe you need to take those things and be able to bring them to God so that God can help you learn what it means to heal from them or repent of them.
See, this is the language of lament we press into God we have the freedom to be able to pour out our hurts. Some of them listen to this justified. Some of those hurts justified, and we can pour them out to God because he can handle it. He understands, he knows, but there's a third movement in this language and it's this we boldly ask for God's help. This is imperative friends, loved ones, brothers and sisters. We've got a boldly asked for the Lord's help. Listen to what David does after pouring out his heart after saying four different times how long, how long, how long then notice what he says in verse three. Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, I have overcome him, and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 
You see for David, he realized that he didn't have a choice, but to be dependent upon God, because he knew that his help came from God. This is where it was coming from, and so he boldly asked him for help. What is he asking him for help on? What's he saying answer me about? Well, he posed a few questions, didn't he? How long will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts? How long will my enemy triumph over me? David wanted to know some of the answer to those questions, but you and I both know that when we're asking how long questions to God, it's not just about time.
You and I know that we're asking questions that are even deeper, that we're asking questions that run to the very core of who we are, and sometimes we don't even know what kind of answers we're asking God for, but that's okay because God will sometimes ... Listen to this, God will answer in ways that we weren't asking because he cares, and he wants to help and he wants to shape and he wants to heal and he wants to free. You see, that's why dependence, in the United States where we live, dependence is a word that we don't like very much. We're a people of pick ourselves up by our bootstraps. We're a people of being self reliant. We're a people of, if I work hard enough, I can do anything. But ladies and gentlemen, I promise you that dependence is not a bad word in the economy of God.  When we talk about living our lives for Jesus Christ, dependence is the best thing that we can do because dependence is not weakness, it's faith.
That's what dependence actually is, it's faith. And you and I in times of distress, in times of hurt, in times of trouble, we have a choice, dependence or despair, dependence, or denial. I'm choosing dependence, and I encourage you to do the same thing, just press into God, pour your heart out and ask God for his help because his help will come in the form. Not only of what we need specifically in our life, but what we need generally in our life, and that is to be contoured and shaped into the image of his son Jesus. That what God will do is he will help us to learn the way of Jesus. He'll help us learn the thoughts of Jesus. He'll help us learn the words of Jesus, even when we're in the midst of heartache.
This is the language of lament, and it has movements in it. That we press into God, not run from him. That we pour out our hearts because he already knows, and sometimes in the naming is where the healing begins. That we boldly ask for his help because we are declaring that we're dependent upon him, not on ourselves. But the last movement is this, and this you can't miss. You have to land on trusting all that God is. Don't miss this, write it down, write it in your heart, write it in your journal. You have to land on trusting all that God is. Listen to how David, after David begins with four how long questions, and then ask God to please answer me, please help me. Listen to how he lands in verse five. But I trust in your unfailing love. My heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord's praise for he has been good to me. 
See friends, brothers, and sisters, this is how we teach our soul. You do know that your soul has to be taught. In other Psalms you hear David sing, "Why are you downcast oh my soul? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Lord and my God." David is talking to his own soul. Some of you talk to yourself, I know you do, you talk to yourselves. Some of you have been talking to yourselves while you're watching me in your home. You're not doing it when you're here most of the time, you may be in your head, but you're not doing it outside of your body. We talk to ourselves, but you know what we need to do? We need to teach our souls, and this is how we do it, this is how the Psalmist does it.
Listen, this is how a new kind of humanity does it. That it's not just grief for the sake of grief, but it's grief that ends up landing in a place that trusts God for all that he is. And do you know David actually teased out some parts of who God is when he said, this is what I'm going to trust, this is who I'm going to trust. He first started by saying, I'm going to trust in his unfailing love. That's what he said, I'm going to trust in his unfailing love. Look in the first part of verse five, "But I trust in your unfailing love." Listen to me, brothers and sisters, beloved of God, friends, Whether you're watching online, whether you're here with me, here in this room, in the midst of trouble and in the midst of heartache and in the midst of seasons of grief, here's what you need to know. 
That you who have been transformed by Jesus Christ, listen to this, you are loved, and there is absolutely nothing that will change that. To borrow from the apostle Paul without quoting him directly, whether it's height or depth, whether it's angels or demons, whether it is life or death, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord, nothing. And so whatever season we may find ourselves in, whatever heartbreak that we are embracing, know this, you are loved in the midst of it, and that will never change, do you know why? Because while your friends and your family and all those around us sometimes have a love that can from time to time fail, we have a God who is unfailing in his love. Unfailing, nothing can change it. Nothing can separate us from it. This is what we have to remember. 
We land on trusting all that God is, and God has an unfailing love for us. But what we also see David landing on is that we can also trust God's salvation. Notice again what he says in the second portion of verse number five, he says, "My heart rejoices in your salvation." You see, when the word salvation is used, we often think of eternal salvation and that's absolutely true, but David is actually using this term to describe the circumstance that he finds himself in, the present circumstance that he is in. And I want to remind us all here, ladies and gentlemen, that the only salvation that we have in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in is Jesus.
I know that in the world that we live in, there are injustices that occur. Do they need to rightly be called out? Absolutely. Do they need to rightly be changed? You better believe it. But listen to me when I say this, and I say this as a preacher of the gospel, I'm not a politician and I'm not in bed with any politicians, I'm a preacher of the gospel. And what you need to understand is this, that we can change systems and still not change hearts because people need Jesus. Systems cannot save, politicians and presidents cannot save. There is one name under heaven by which we must be saved, and it is the name of Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the father, except through him. We need to rightly work as believers because as believers in Jesus, we are for justice and against injustice.
We are for love and against hate. We are for hope and against despair. That's who we are as the people of Jesus. And we need to work in this present broken kingdom toward those ends, but systems as much as they need to be changed, cannot save. Politics and politicians, as much as we need ones and godly ones who have wisdom and who do good, they cannot save, only Jesus can do that. So we need to make sure that when we land on trusting all that God is, we trust in his unfailing love and we trust that only he can save us from our present circumstance and for all eternity. But there's a third piece that David teases out of who God is that he's trusting and that is his sovereignty.
He trusts in God's sovereignty. You may not see it at first and truly I'm working from the implication of the text at this point, instead of its exact wording. But notice what it says in the beginning of verse number six, David says, "I will sing the Lord's praise." Now, listen carefully, leave this up here for just a moment, do you see this word LORD? Do you see that it's all caps? There's a reason for that. You see, when we read in the New Testament about the Lord Jesus, we actually see it referenced capital L and then lowercase ORD talking about his Lordship or who he is as Lord, but this capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D, is the Old Testament way of talking about the covenant name of God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Adonai, the almighty.
That's why so many times when this word is used in the context of scripture, it is prefaced with the word sovereign. Sovereign Lord, we praise you. Sovereign Lord, please do these things, why? Because that's the impetus behind this covenant name, that this is the almighty. This is the sovereign one who is in control. And see, here's what David knew, he was trusting the Lord's control over the situation that he was in. And you and I better learn from that lesson, and here's why, because in our seasons of grief, in our seasons of sorrow, in our seasons of lament, we need to get the sovereignty question settled in our hearts because sovereignty, if we don't settle it, it erodes our trust. Do you know why? Because we start putting trust in other places, and we put our trust in other people or we put our trust in ourselves.
And whether it's ourselves, other places or other people, I can give you this, 100% percent guarantee, they will let you down. 100%, they will let you down, maybe not all the time, but they will. It will happen because there is only one who is sovereign and who is reigning over everything. The most high who reigns over the earth and does with the nations, whatever he pleases is what Daniel says. Or the Proverbs writer who says that the heart of the King is in the hand of the Lord and he moves it like a stream wherever he wishes. The nations are under the sovereignty of God. God raises up and he cast down in ways that only are known to God in his sovereignty. And that is fundamental to us as we learn how to trust him because when we find ourselves in a polarized world, like we live in, we need to make sure listen to this. We need to make sure that we are better Christians than we are Americans and that we know where our ultimate allegiance lies in the kingdom of the eternal God, who is sovereign over all things.
We land on trusting all that God is that was the clapping who got it. We trust who God is that his unfailing love his salvation, his sovereignty, but also his goodness. Listen to how David ends in Psalm 13:6. For He has been good to me. Right here six verses of the Psalms that start in the first couple of verses with four questions how long, how long, how long, how long, and do you know what it ends on? Your love is unfailing. You're the one who can save. You are sovereign and you've been good to me.
David, in the midst of his trial could say, God has been good to him and believers in Jesus need to be able to say the same thing. Whatever the trial, whatever the issue that God has been good to us and now for those of us that are looking backwards at the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt, how good God has been to us. That while we were yet sinners Christ still died for us and that we now have the hope of being reconciled to God because of Jesus shedding his blood dying in our place, the sinless one for the sinful ones, so that he could be resurrected from the dead overcoming sin hell in the grave, on our behalf. And now by faith in him, we can be transformed. It is by grace that we have been saved through faith. It is not of ourselves it is the gift of God. It's not of works lest any of us should boast.
God has good to us. This is the language of lament. We need to understand the movements of this language so that it can become a part of who we are. Why? Because we need this language because it's the language between the worlds. Between the world of brokenness that we live in and between the world of restoration that we long for. This is the language that we need to speak because it shapes us more into the nature of Christ. So based on this Psalm 13, We need to pray in this direction. This is the direction we need to pray in the language of lament.
And so I want us to do that together. Now I've only known that we're going to be actually having people in the room for maybe the last 16 hours. This came upon as quickly and so we had already prepared by way of the zoom to be able to have people from all across our body of believers, at The Chapel, to be able to pray a prayer of lament that communally we can join in. It's framed around Psalm 13 as a framework, but it intersperses the word of God all throughout it. And so I want us together even now to pray that prayer unto the Lord.
I want you to know that the blessing that's just sung over you we mean it. We want that for you. It's a priestly blessing that comes out of Numbers 6. Lord had said to Moses tell Aaron and his sons, this is how you're to bless the Israelites. Say to them, the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord, turn his face toward you and give you peace. And this will put my name on the Israelites and I will bless them. We pray that over you. We want that for you. And it may be that there are people maybe in this room may be watching us who've never yet come to a place where you surrendered your will and your life to the Lord Jesus. The one who loved you so much that he came to earth to die in your place, to rescue you from the bondage of sin, to make you a different kind of human, to rescue you in this life and to give you the hope for the life to come.
The gospel is not primarily about trying to make bad people a little better. The gospel is about people that are dead in their sin and their trespasses that can only be raised to life by Jesus and through faith in him. And if you've never before put your faith or your trust in Jesus, I hope that you would do that this day because what our world needs more than anything more than anything is Jesus. He's the one that will make all things new, that the old is gone and everything becomes new when we put our faith in him and what he's done on our behalf. We're sinful people that cannot save a rescue ourselves. Only he can do that.
If you've never come to that place, we would love to help you with that. If you're here in the room, when we dismiss, there's a table that John will tell you about in just a moment. There's some Bibles there you can take one with you. There'll be a pastor or two that'll be there as well, if you'd want to talk to them about what it means to entrust your life to Jesus. And if you're watching us online, which the vast majority are, you can connect with us at or you certainly could call us if you wanted (716) 631-2636 and we would love to talk to you about what faith in Jesus means. Because we don't know what we're promised in this life, we don't know about the promise of tomorrow, we've had people during this time of not being able to gather together in our church, family who have passed and gone to be with Jesus, even as recently as within the last 48 hours. One of our faithful ushers Jerry Krause, who works the corner door in this room every single week has gone to be with Jesus.
We don't know what tomorrow has for us, but we know that today is the day of salvation. Now is the appointed time that we can trust him while it's still called today. You've been given grace to do that. Hearing the gospel and hearing his invitation I encourage you to respond. Father, may your glory be demonstrated in how you draw people to yourself by the power of your own spirit. And may each of us receive all the truth that you have given to us this day from your word, God, I sit under it along with all of my brothers and sisters. May you transform the way that we look at the world because we've learned a different language, a language of lament that actually leads us to a place of trusting you more deeply and being shaped more into your image. We pray this now in Jesus name. Amen.

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Subject: Language of Lament

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