Psalm 88

February 15, 2015

Perhaps originally an individual lament by Heman, the Psalm became part of the repertoire of Israel’s communal worship at the temple. The faithful community sang and prayed these words. These words were not hidden in a corner, but heralded in the temple courts as the congregation of Israel worshiped God. Though they may have begun […]

Psalm 19

February 10, 2015

Words. Some are voiceless, some form a narrative, and others offer a response. Psalm 19 is a meditative response to words that make no sound and words that shape the life of Israel. The Psalmist offers a meditation on how God encounters Israel through creation and Torah and how believers respond to such gracious revelation. […]

Lament Prayer

January 20, 2015

God, take your hands out of your pockets and do something! Psalm 74:11a A Lament Prayer.

On Reading Lamentations

September 3, 2014

There is always reason to weep. We don’t have to look too far into our world—whether through social media, television, or newsprint—to find reason to weep. Yet, too often we—especially the church—ignore, hide our eyes, or look past the pain in order to escape into fantasy, denial, or hope. We rarely sit in our grief […]

Two Chapel Speeches on Lament

April 28, 2014

Below are links to two chapel speeches this year—my only chapel speeches this academic year. The first was delivered to the whole Lipscomb student body after the loss of Isaac Philips who was found dead in his dorm room in late September 2013. You may view the chapel speech at this link. The second was […]

Joel 2:12-17 — Assemble and Pray

April 17, 2014

Sometimes assembly is more important than a wedding night. That doesn’t sound right, does it? But it is the message of Joel 2:12-17. The impending disaster, the day of the Lord, created an urgency within Israel that prioritized the gathering of God’s people over wedding celebrations. A penitent people, according to Joel, should assemble to […]

A Lament Prayer: I Hate Death

October 1, 2013

You, God, who made the heavens and the earth and have promised to remake them, hear my voice. I plea for a hearing because you often seem so distant to me and sometimes I fear that you do not listen. Awake, O God, and hear my prayer for I struggle once again with death. Death […]

Revelation 5 – Worthy is the Lamb!

July 14, 2013

While Revelation 4 focused on the worth of the Creator who sits on the throne, Revelation 5 turns our attention to the dramatic investiture of the one who is worthy to break the seals and unroll the scroll. Revelation 4 portrays the reality of the heavenly throne room where the sovereign God, sitting on the throne, […]

Lament Songs: We Need More

April 18, 2013

We need more lament songs. I was reminded of of this while studying Amos 8:9.  The prophet offers the most chilling metaphor for lament imaginable for an ancient Israelite:  “I will make it like the mourning of an only son.” Children killed in their schools, on the streets of a sporting event, by abuse at […]

Amos 7:1-6 — Intercession and Divine Relenting

April 4, 2013

This text begins the fourth major section of Amos which contains five visions (Amos 7:1-9:10). While the structure of this part of Amos is variously understood, the five visions form the heart of its message: 1. Locust (7:1-3) 2. Fire (7:4-6) 3. Plumb Line (7:7-9). 4. Summer Fruit (8:1-3). 5. Pillars (9:1). Amos “sees” the […]