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Reflection Questions: Lamentations 3:19-24

For the message, Honest to God given by Pastor John Ferguson


at New City Church of Calgary on March 5, 2017

These discussion questions are designed primarily to help you apply the message from the Scriptures
by helping you think through application to your personal life, your church life, and your citys life.
You can use these by yourself for reflection, or with your family or small group for discussion.
To review the sermon, go to NewCityChurch.ca/sermons

INTRODUCTION

Pray. Take a moment to pray asking God to guide you in reflecting upon the Scripture text.

A summary of the sermon: Lamentations was written by Jeremiah the prophet in the aftermath of the destruction of
Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 587/6BC. It is a series of grief-filled, tear-soaked laments chronicling
the pain, confusion, and a glimmer of hope that arose in the wake Jerusalems downfall.

Key Points:

We need the book of Lamentations to remember and honour the pain of the past of people just like us.
We need the book of Lamentations to learn the language of lament to find our voice when life doesnt make sense.
We need the book of Lamentations to wrestle honestly before God because we live in a broken and rebellious world.

Key Quotes:

The Justice Calling, Woven throughout Scripture is an unguarded type of prayer known as lament. To lament is to
ask Why? and Why not? as well as What are you doing God? and Where are you? To lament is to pour out our
hearts, holding nothing back. It is to pray without trying to be more full of faith than we actually are.

Michael Card, It seems to me that we do not need to be taught how to lament. What we need is simply the assurance
that we can lament.

Justice Calling, Lament is prayer that honors the honest of pain and anger while also honouring the truth that God is
the one who reigns and whose hesed [i.e., covenant] love never fails. Lament holds in tension all the suffering that
seems to make no sense with a determination to believe that God is just. Lament draws us to God when we are
tempted to turn away. Lament enables us to keep moving forward with perseverance in the justice calling; it is a way
to remain deeply connected to the God who loves us and loves justice even when injustice makes us ask the hardest
questions of God.

Eugene Peterson, Why are Christians, of all people, embarrassed by tears, uneasy in the presence of sorrow,
unpracticed in the language of lament? It certainly not a biblical heritage, for virtually all our ancestors in the faith were
thoroughly acquainted with grief. And our Saviour was, as everyone knows, a Man of Sorrows.

Read through the book of Lamentations in one setting.

Pause after each chapter and ask yourself these questions:

1) What did I notice about this chapter? Perhaps there was a certain phrase or a verse or a mood or a question that
struck you. What was it?

2) What was the hardest part of reading this chapter?

When youve finished reading the book of Lamentations, ask yourself these questions:

1) Why do you think this book was included in the Scriptures? In other words, why does God want you to know about
this book?

2) How does this book help you to be honest to God? with the pain and suffering youve experienced in your life
and you witness in this world?
3) How does the bleakness of this book make you long for a better world? How does it help you long for the coming
kingdom of God that Jesus spoke of and taught us to pray for?

CONCLUSION QUESTION

How might you incorporate lament into your prayers?

PRAYER

What are some ways you can turn what you are learning into prayer? List them as bullet points.

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