Everything Is Not Awesome!

A reading for Friday, December 2, 2016: Joel 1:1-12.

Lament is also a gift of a healthy spiritual life.

I have a friend who tells me about growing up in a church in which questioning and lament were almost not allowed. I don't think anybody ever expressed it as a rule, but he received the message loud and clear. "We are the people of God and everything is awesome!"

Truth is, everything is not awesome and nobody knows that more than God. We believe in a God capable of handling our lament. In fact, when we lament we join with God in identifying the ways the world should be transformed. Grieving over violence hopes for peace. Mourning destruction prays for creation. Lamenting hate and anger calls us to compassion.

Joel laments in the first chapter over the destruction of his nation and his people. The prophet brings attention to the pain and suffering of God's people. It is the first part of his book, hoping and praying, and connecting with God working for transformation.

We are the people of God and everything is not awesome. But God is awesome and when we lament we turn to God as the source of our hope for a future.


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