Walter Brueggemann contends that the Psalms offer us words during the long seasons of our lives. They offer us words when our worlds are stable and ordered and well. They offer us words when our worlds are awful, filled with hopelessness and fear. They offer us words when our worlds have miraculous transformed and all has become new. Each lecture explores a different season we live through and the language the Psalmist spoke to God when they were in that season also. Sometimes abrasive, sometimes euphoric, there is always a word offered that we may speak to God.
Laments are of particular interest to Brueggemann. He comments how most laments have never been selected to be included in the lectionary. There are a couple which occur every three years, but an individual could attend church their whole life and never hear the majority of them. Brueggemann contends lament is important in our lives and in our conversations with the Almighty. He believes our speech before the throne doesn’t have to be nice, just honest. These prayers act as hope: things do not have to stay the way they are. God can make newness for us.
These famous lectures were recorded at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake on June 12 and 13, 2009.