Silent God, Dissonant Prayer

Silent God, Dissonant Prayer


Lamentations 5

Sarah Neff

“Lament is beating on God’s chest & trusting he’s not going anywhere.” –Mandy Smith

“Its very unsettledness enables the book to be a house for sorrow, neither denied nor overcome with sentimental wishes, theological escapism, or premature closure… Lamentations does not tell the whole story and does not contain all there is to say about God’s relationship to the world, it does tell truth about the human experience of suffering.” –Kathleen O’Connor

“You are the partner of her loneliness,

the unspeaking center of her monologues.

With each disclosure you encompass more

and she stretches beyond what limits her,

to hold you.”

–Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours, 1.7

“So great is my hunger for you—or is this evidence of your hunger for me?—that I seem to see you in the black flower mourners make beside a grave I do not know, in embers’ innards like a shining hive, in the bare abundance of a winter tree whose every limb is lit and fraught with snow.” –Christian Wiman

“Lamentations’ speakers pray anyway. They proceed with the shaky hope that God hears them, that God is still open to them, that God can be persuaded to see.” –Kathleen O’Connor

“Christ is God crying I am here, and not here only in what exalts and completes you, but here in what appalls, offends, and degrades you.” –Christian Wiman


Lamentations 3:23

Romans 8:18-30

Ezekiel 37:1-10

Songs for Today’s Worship Gathering:

Abide by White

Grace Upon Grace by McCracken

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robinson/Wyeth

Rest by Maher/Cockrell

How Can I Keep from Singing by Lowry

Thy Mercy, My God by Stocker/McCracken


Go further:

Rouault’s Miserere et Guerre at Duke Chapel (Spring 2017)

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland

Lamentations and the Tears of the World by Kathleen O’Connor

Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times by Soong Chan Rah

Every Riven Thing: Poems by Christian Wiman

My Bright Abyss by Christian Wiman

Lent Reading:

God is on the Cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sweet Deliverance: A Lenten Reader ed Chris Breslin

Living the Christian Year by Bobby Gross

Cross-Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas

God for Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent & Easter ed Greg Pennoyer

The Seven Last Words from the Cross by Fleming Rutledge

Listening at Golgotha: Jesus’ Words from the Cross by Peter Storey


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