A Lament for the Lost: I was asked to write this and read it for our lament service at church. A lament is a common literary form used in scripture for people crying out to God over injustice (see the book of Lamentations for an example).
Read at Downtown Church of Christ 10-18-09
“There is no one who does good. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Ps. 14).
I am tired of seeing broken neighborhoods, broken families with children being raised in ignorance and in hate. I am tired of people who have no disposition to love the one true God, the many people who do not know Christ. How despicable it is that men walk your finely created green earth who have no knowledge of righteousness, who do not know that their lives offend your heart, who have no clue how to reach towards you, who view you as distant as the stars, who do not see in you any answers or hope, whose lives are being destroyed. And not them alone oh God, but the innocent; those who do not deserve hate receive it because the lost live and do not know the hallowed name of God. The innocent are destroyed by lostness and they become the future of lostness to the world. How can you allow such a huge contradiction within your good creation? Why can’t fathers love their sons and sons grow up knowing the God who holds it all together.
Why are there places like South Side Chicago? Places with 9 generations of drugs, gangs, and violence? Why are their whole regions of the world where the name of Christ is barely heard? The Middle East has spent too many years living outside of your Kingdom, and yet we, the church, would rather shoot a Muslim than baptize him. We’ll pay one-hundred thousand dollars to hear someone tell us why we ought to fear Muslims, but we want pay one cent to send our sons and daughters to lead’m to Christ. God everything is backwards. … But this is too far away . . . Here in our own county—have you seen inside some of these houses, the loud TV, the crying baby, the abusive father, the missing husband. “There is no one who does good. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Have you seen how few know you or even care about what they know? Surely we have churches enough for the lost of our county, but God why have you not filled them? God why have you let the church forget its first love? God, you said we are a light unto the nations but we are nothing. We have no mission to speak of. Who cares about a mission? We are bored with our confession. We never believed it in the first place. Why dear God do you sustain such a church like ours?
Is this really the world that you made; are we really your church? Perhaps the physical world is nothing but an illusion and the best thing we can do is just escape. But God you are not one who escapes, you are not one who leaves this world abandoned and destitute. You are not one who sees what is broken and then leaves it undone. You are no respecter of persons, and you are no blind fool. You are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; you hear the voice of those begging—“set the world right.” DO IT! Make it right! Father God the lost are in Egypt crying out in distress. We, oh God, are crying out for them because they have no knowledge of their enslavement to the world of Satan. Do not let our cries go unheard. Do not stay in your holy habitat and do nothing. Are you an unmoved, unfeeling God? I dare you Yahweh! Wake up from your sleep and see what is broken. If we know you we know a God who rides the clouds of heaven, who comes down to rescue and save what is lost and broken. If we know you, you will not allow such complete depravity to go on spreading to every man and woman on the earth. Come down, oh God, we beg you. Come down as you once did long ago. Rescue what is in Egypt. Save what is lost. Do you dwell among your people? If so, then do not hold back the day of the Lord. Bring it own, bring it own. We want to see the lost come begging for repentance at the gateway of glory. We want to see the unrepentant sinners of the world come to the throne room and recognize who is King. We want so badly to believe that we don’t have a God who doesn’t care. Come Holy Spirit. Convict the world of unrighteousness; convict the world and bring them to the LORD.
We know that the day is coming when you will judge the living and the dead by this one man Jesus Christ. God, I dare you to come down and save somebody. It’s been too long sense we’ve seen revival. It’s been too long since we have seen people actually transformed by the risen Christ. We haven’t seen it, oh God, but somehow we still try to believe it. God it’s a desert down here. The life blood of the church is the seed of those who suffer for your name. We want to suffer for your name so that the world will know that you reign victorious. We are desperate God for you to come with power. With more than a two bit miracle; we don’t want to play patty cake; we want to battle the evil one in the name of Christ. So please dear God, do not allow so much time to pass. The time is now. “There is no one who does good. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Come Lord Jesus.