Originally posted on Job and the Storm:
So…I have been listening to a lot of Christian radio recently. It has rekindled a long-time thought I have had concerning the nature of Christian worship. It seems, based on my experience in worship ministry and the popular Christian songs I hear, that we are missing an important voice in our worship: the “Lament.”
One of the most powerful forms of poetry/song in the Old Testament is that which we define as the “lament.” There are many different forms of this kind of speech. David uses it to express his anguish over the death of Saul and Jonathan. The author of Lamentations uses it (of course) to grapple with the intensity of the destruction of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the depth of emotion that this form of speech utlizes is rarely matched in contemporary Christian worship.
Numerous praise songs talk about the travails of life– the trials and tribulations. But it seems to me that many of our songs lack a robust honesty. We do not often, in our Christian music, dive deep into the pool of pain. We swim in the shallow end where our feet can touch the ground in the midst of cliches and abstract problems. Other times, when we do venture a little deeper into the difficult subject matter, we immediately swim to the side of the pool and get out, wrapping ourselves in the refrain that “God is good and saves us” or “we will overcome.” Phrases in the indicative mood that do not speak to the doubt we often feel when struggling to stay afloat in deeper waters. (One of) The problem(s) with this is that it neglects a very serious aspect of the Christian faith: Doubt.