By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

Laments and Rants

Way back when, in the days when I was a lousy violinist, I had a book of Scottish fiddle tunes (J Scott Skinner I seem to recall) in which many of the tunes were entitled 'MacThingy's Lament or Rant.'  Tomorrow in our evening service we are using Walter Brueggemann's 'Psalms of Disorientation'  as the framework for a quiet - and maybe slightly intense - act of worship.  Lamenting and ranting, as commonly understood, seem to go pretty much together.  The disorientation psalms express regret and remorse (by people and by God) and also some pretty serious, even scary, rants.  It is good to be reminded there is a place for both in worship.

Whilst on holiday I picked up a CD called 'The Last Journey' the title track of which is a hymn I love very much.  However, it is one of the other tracks I want to share today, which has the feel of a disorientation psalm:

All the fears I need to name but am too scared to say;
all the shame for what I've done which nothing can allay:
all the people I've let down and lost along the way;
all the hate I still remand:

Must these torment me to the end of time?  Who is there to understand?

All the wasted years in which I struggled to be free;
all the broken promises that took their toll on me;
all the love I should have shown and all I failed to be;
all I longed to take my hand:

Must these torment me to the end of time? Who is there to understand?

What the cause of pain is and, much more, the reason why;
what my final hour will bring, how suddenly I'll die;
what the future holds for those I'll miss, for whom I cry;
what, too late, I might demand:

Must these torment me to the end of time?  Who is there to understand?

'All the wrong you now admit, I promise to forgive;
all that you regret, you are not sentenced to relive;
all the love you've never known is mine alone to give;
you, my child are understood.'

So do not fear all that is yet to be, heaven is close and God is good.

John L Bell (born 1949) and Graham A Maule (born 1958)© WGRG, Iona Community

A version of this is in HymnQuest and it is published in a book called When Grief is Raw

Hope someone finds this helpful in some way.


The comments are closed.