The Scripture reading this week is Psalm 69:1-16
The Sermon title is Truth, Repentance, Recovery
Early Thoughts: Sometimes the only appropriate reaction, at least as a starting point, is to weep and wail, to Lament.
Lament is a classic Psalm form. It is a classic part of faith life, albeit one that we don't seem to give much time for anymore. When life seems to be falling to pieces, when all seems lost, then it is most appropriate to lament.
Interestingly, in the Psalms often the lament involves blaming/accusing God for the sad state of things, even as they often assume that God will help find a way out of the situation.
What do we have to lament?
It strikes me that we have a big cause to lament. In light of the TRC work that is ongoing I think it appropriate that we join our brothers and sisters in lamenting the great harm that has been done in our name.
In the face of an accusation of Cutural Genocide offered not by a radical activist but by a Judge who chaired the TRC and by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada I think we have to lament what has happened. We have to lament the ongoing effects of a long-standing policy of assimilation and integration. We have to lament a relationship that is certainly broken (although I might argue it was never "fixed" to begin with).
We have to lament the image of a non-indigenous society that was sure they were only doing what was right for their neighbours (along with all the paternalism that went with that assumption), an image that has been shattered as we are forced to look at things in a new light.
ANd then, once we have lamented, the hard work will continue. We have to build or re-build a relationship. We have to relearn our history and our understandings of it. WE have to find the way to reconciliation, beyond apology, beyond truth-telling, beyond injury and compensation, lies actual reconciliation. The only questions are: do we have the will for the hard work? an how long will it take?