Mark Vroegop, lead pastor of College Park Church in Indiananopolis, has written an excellent guide about how to lament. Sometimes we Christians believe it is wrong to voice our anger, doubts and pain. The majority of hymns and praise songs omit our very real feelings of grief. Through a study of the Psalms of lament and the book of Lamentations, Vroegop shows how the process of lamenting can not only help us to acknowledge all our feelings, but also lead us through anguish into deeper trust in God.
The book is divided into three sections:
- Learning to Lament
- Learning from Lament
- Living with Lament
The author notes that in lamentation, we freely bring our complaint to God, ask boldly for relief and then choose to trust Him, whatever happens. Often a turning point in a lament is marked by one of these words:; but, yet or and. Lamenting allows us to honestly express our pain and move beyond it. It helps us to accept and come to grips with situations that are essentially unanswerable.
At the end of each chapter there are study questions, so this book could easily be used with a small group. It also includes a learning to lament worksheet, a listing of the Psalms of Lament, and twenty complaints, personal and corporate, taken from the Psalms. The author has suggestions for using Psalms of Lament corporately at funerals and prayer services and as sermon topics.
VERDICT: 4 Stars. A useful resource for both pastors and lay people on a topic that is rarely addressed.
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