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O Come, Holy One


Lamenting. Seems like kind of a depressing topic, not in

keeping with cultural pressures to keep it positive. Positive

can be okay if it’s in aid of truth, but sometimes it isn’t.

Sometimes exhortations to positivity are a way to obscure or

ignore serious problems, or shift blame for them on the

people who are pointing them out, as if they’re the result of

negativity, whatever that is perceived to be.

But in scripture, lamenting is actually a sign of hope, a signal

of transcendence, a truth-telling art that dismantles whatever

is in the way of creation’s flourishing. It’s something much

deeper and more profound than positivity, which can be

mistaken for mere comfort, or ignorant bliss. Not my

problem, we tell ourselves. I’m going to think positive, as if

I’m the center of the universe and my puny cogitations

absolve me from my participation in the creation or

amelioration of serious problems.

Or else we shift blame for systemic, structural problems, or

even disasters and accidents onto the people most affected

by them, telling ourselves, and them, that if only they’d taken

responsibility, or planned better, or saved more money, or

worked harder or not gotten sick or discouraged…
Again, as if we’ve got control. At all.

Anything worth doing is too big to do alone, says (WHO?)

Truth-telling is often uncomfortable, sometimes profoundly

so, but it is absolutely what we are called by God to do in

every aspect of our lives. And the truth is, we’re pretty naked

and vulnerable. We’re here without much of the kind of

protection we’d prefer, which usually takes the form of

things like walls, weapons, armor, snarkiness, wealth and


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