The Church's Lament

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God's model song-book for congregational singing - the Psalms - is full of a wide variety of musical and literary genres. One of the most neglected among today's published songs is lament. Lament was an important part of gathered worship from ancient times, as God's people were given one voice to mourn and wrestle hard things like personal sin or misfortune, injustice, or calamity. This song offers God's people a lament for their own sin; a song of repentance. Instead of rushing to declare God's forgiveness and mercy, it takes the posture of letting the weight of crimes sink in a bit before concluding with a hopeful ending, pointing to the promise of mercy through the blood and righteousness of Jesus. May the church appropriately mourn her sin and continue to cry out to God in faith for pardon and cleansing.


God of mercy! God of love!
Hear our sad repenting songs;
Listen to your humble saints
For to you all grace belongs.

Verse 1:
Crimes and faults and laziness;
Talents wasted, time misspent;
Hearts corrupted by our worldly cares,
Filled with selfish discontent.

Verse 2:
Foolish fears and wrong desires;
Chasing after what is vain;
Lips too seldom taught to praise our God,
Prone to murmur and complain.

Verse 3:
We are filled with secret sins
Which before you now we own;
Humble at your feet we face the ground
Seeking pardon from your throne.

God of mercy! God of love!
You will hear our humble songs;
Jesus' blood and righteousness-
They have covered all our wrongs.

By David L. Ward. Based on a hymn by John Taylor (1750-1826)
© 2016, admin Thousand Tongues


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