I’ve been leading Downtown’s 20’s ministry in a conversation about lament for the past two weeks. We are given the example within the Bible of people bringing their burdens to God in the form of a lament (Ps 79; Lamentations). This is done not in the closets of people’s houses but in the public assembly. People say at church to “leave your burdens and worries at home, clear your minds, and worship God.” I think it is better to bring those burdens to church and give them to God in the form of a public lament. This is what the 20’s folk did last night. I gave this lament first at Downtown in Oct. 09 and then updated to give it again at the Underground last night. This one is edited a little differently with some additions and subtractions. I lament the lostness of the world and within God’s church. To get the full affect read this out loud with passion.
Lament for the Lost
“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’m staggered more by rebellious young people, those raised by Christians, who turn away from God to worship idols. I am angry and hurt by people who have no disposition, know how, or a heart to love the one true God. 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 out 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 way of God in Christ. 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; we’ll give half our national budget to control them, but we want pay one cent to send our sons and daughters to lead them to Christ. God, everything is backwards. … and even in our own country…have you seen inside some of these houses in White County?: the loud TV, the crying baby, the abusive father, the distracted mother, the missing husband. Our families barely hold together. They are falling apart at the seams. And the rich, O God, we eat and eat. We make ourselves satisfied by buying more and more stuff. We have more stuff than we know how to give away. One more TV, one more boat, one more vacation, one more SUV, one more stock, one more security. God, our hearts have gone wild after foreign lovers. “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? Have you seen the church? We are confused, lost and distracted by the world. We cannot hear your voice, nor do we care to because we are so busy drinking in everything the world pours out. We love our idols. We love noise. We shove media down the throats of our minds to silence our dying souls. We hate silence when our consciences tell us to shut up, be silent, and pray. We love our idols! We love the ugly beauty of sensuality. We love the sex that sells in the market place rather than the eternal beauty of a woman who fears God. These idols ensnare our hearts more than we can withstand. God, why have you let the church forget its first love? 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 as 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 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 are the God who scattered Egypt and set the oppressed free. 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 down, bring it down. We want to see the lost come begging in repentance at the gateway of glory. We want to see the unrepentant sinners of the world come to Zion and bow to Christ the King. We want the church to repent. 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 yourself.
We know that the day is coming when you will judge the living and the dead by this one man Jesus Christ. But now 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. It’s been too long since the church has actually stood up and witnessed to a dying world. We haven’t seen it, oh God, but somehow we still believe it. God, it’s a desert down here and it’s our fault. We repent and turn– We want to suffer for your name so that the world will know that you reign victorious. We don’t want to play patty cake. We are desperate for you to come with power, with more than a two bit miracle; bring all you got, bring the big boys, the saints, the Spirit, the angles and the resurrected Lord. Please God, the time is now.
Come Lord Jesus.