In the aftermath of the 9/11/01 terrorist attack on the U.S. almost twenty years ago, American Christians found themselves (knowing or not) at a spiritual crossroads. One road, I believe, was the invitation to engage in the ancient prayer process called “lament” which is found in the Jewish prophetic tradition. The other road was the way of substituting true repentance and corporate introspection with blind patriotism. It would seem that too many American Christians chose visionless patriotism a decade ago, and it’s my opinion that it led too many to a tighter embrace of xenophobia, racism, violence, and even some ultimately, to insurrection against the nation they claim to love in the name of Jesus, whom they claim to know. Where do Christians go from here? I believe we are at the same cultural crossroads again, and the Spirit still calls us to enter into and to embody the Prayer of Lament. I think it’s beneficial at this time to meditate on this and discern how this might express itself in our lives and perhaps in the life of our own faith communities. Here’s a helpful and very well written article by Rob Muthiah from The Christian Century that articulates in greater detail than I’m able to communicate here:
*Banner Image: Sorrowing Man (At Eternity’s Gate) by Vincent van Gogh, 1890.