Thanksgiving, a time in which we gather to be thankful. For most of us, we can raddle off a half dozen things in no time at all; God, family, friends, pets, work, home, health. See, not so hard at all, i didn’t even mention my wife and kids by name; which i very well could, for each one is such an amazing blessing that i am incredibly thankful. For many, however, it isn’t so easy to make such a list; Broken homes, broken hearts, brokenness.

Is there a holiday for lamenting? In the TV series Seinfeld, there is an episode where they celebrate “Festivus” and “the airing of grievances.” As ridiculous as “Festivus” is, that holiday is actually not that bad an idea. In the book, we call the Bible there is a section called, “Lamentations.” It is a book of lamenting. Here is how it begins:

Oh no! She sits alone, the city that was once full of people. Once great among nations, she has become like a widow. Once a queen over provinces, she has become a slave. She weeps bitterly in the night, her tears on her cheek. None of her lovers comfort her. All her friends lied to her; they have become her enemies.                                                               (Lamentations 1:1-2 CEB)

There is something to be said for lamenting, letting things out, there is a season for it. A time and a purpose. It is actually good for the soul to let things out and not to hold things in. Can one lament too much, too often? Yes! The book of Lamentations is only five chapters long. What does that mean? There comes appoint when we stop lamenting. Here is how Lamentations ends:

Return us, LORD, to Yourself. Please let us return! Give us new days, like those long ago– unless You have completely rejected us, or have become too angry with us.”    (Lamentations 5:21-22 CEB)

In the book of Ecclesiastes, we read one of my favorite passages of Scripture and the influence of the hit song by “The Byrds” “Turn, Turn, Turn” from 1965 although the song was adapted by Pete Seeger a few years earlier the “Byrds” really took off with it…(laughy crying face emoji). Anyway, this passage is such wisdom:

A season for everything

There’s a season for everything
    and a time for every matter under the heavens:
    a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
    a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
    a time for killing and a time for healing,
    a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
    a time for crying and a time for laughing,
    a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
    a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
    a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
    a time for searching and a time for losing,
    a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
    a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
    a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
    a time for loving and a time for hating,
    a time for war and a time for peace.                                                                         (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3)

May it be, as it is my prayer for all of us if you find yourself in a season of lament, to pause for a moment and laugh or dance, to love and make peace, to heal or to build up, to gather and embrace. Happy Thanksgiving!

You are loved,

cj

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