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Lament can be a powerful tool for mourning both individual and social pain. It is a space where we can be completely forthright about our agonies, fears, and losses. As Presbyterian minister Kerri N. Allen shares, “As my own emotions range from sadness to fear to anger, I think of the psalms of lament and the raw, fearless emotion that the psalmists express to God. Lament tells the truth about pain. When we lament the losses of 2021, we make a theological proclamation that affirms the full humanity of each of the valuable lives that has been lost. We must speak out – speak directly to God and name our pain and suffering, speak to other Christians and remind them of our collective responsibility to care for one another, and speak straight to the whole of society to say that things are not right.” What is your personal lament?
Remembering is a process and a journey. Take time to think of the tender moments of 2021, both sad and joyful.
This offering of The Twelve Gifts for Healing by Charlene Costanzo may help in holding them.
May you allow fear to soften and melt away.
May you release all regrets and resentments.
May you see the world with wonder.
And may you imagine only good things.
May hope rise within you.
May peace wash over you.
May you hear the voice of wisdom.
Listening, may you act with trust.
May your heart open.
May joy emerge.
May love flow through you.
May you heal and help others.
Spend as much time as you like with this image for silent reflection.
Meditate on this image. Feel free to light a candle. What word speaks to you?
Gratitude arises from paying attention. How do you reflect gratitude in your life?
New Year’s resolutions are easily made and broken. This year consider setting an intention. Look deep within. What do you long for and who do you want to be in 2022? We pray this prayer with and for you:
God of unity and diversity, bless our work in this new year.
Grant us the ability to make spaces for discernment,
to make time for listening, to make room in our hearts and churches for all.
We pray for your healing as we work to heal our divisions and our wounds
and reconcile with those we’ve hurt.
Give us the strength for repentance and forgiveness.
Bring us together not as one voice but as many working together to build you kin-dom.
When we push back, push us harder to the margins.
In this new year we need new ways of being
and new strength to fight the powers that oppress, especially when oppression benefits us.
Grant us bravery to bless and be blessed.