Monday, March 04, 2013

Retrieve Lament, Day 17 with Vincent Van Gogh, Jon Foreman & Jane Kenyon (+ suggested resources for Lent 2013)

"Once, ritual lament would have been chanted; women would have been paid to beat their breasts and howl for you all night, when all is silent. Where can we find such customs now? So many have long since disappeared or been disowned.
That’s what you had to come for: to retrieve
the lament that we omitted." 
 -- Ranier Maria Rilke, from Requiem For A Friend
During Lent I'll share almost-daily meditations of Scripture, hymns, and art reflecting this time of tension between dying and birth.

Won't you join me?

March 4 , Day 17

Church Pew With Worshippers
Van Gogh 

Psalm 80
Qui regis Israel
1Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; *
     shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
2In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, *
     stir up your strength and come to help us.
3Restore us, O God of hosts; *
     show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

Old Man With Head In His Hands (Eternity's Gate)
Van Gogh

4O LORD God of hosts, *
     how long will you be angered
     despite the prayers of your people?
5You have fed them with the bread of tears; *
     you have given them bowls of tears to drink.
6You have made us the derision of our neighbors, *
     and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
7Restore us, O God of hosts; *
     show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

Garbage Dump
Van Gogh
8You have brought a vine out of Egypt; *
     you cast out the nations and planted it.
9You prepared the ground for it; *
     it took root and filled the land.
10The mountains were covered by its shadow *
     and the towering cedar trees by its boughs.
11You stretched out its tendrils to the Sea *
     and its branches to the River.
12Why have you broken down its wall, *
     so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?
13The wild boar of the forest has ravaged it, *
     and the beasts of the field have grazed upon it.
14Turn now, O God of hosts, look down from heaven;
     behold and tend this vine; *
     preserve what your right hand has planted.
15They burn it with fire like rubbish; *
     at the rebuke of your countenance let them perish.

Weed Burner Sitting On A Wheelbarrow With His Wife 
Van Gogh
16Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, *
     and son of man you have made so strong for yourself.
17And so will we never turn away from you; *
     give us life, that we may call upon your Name.
18Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; *
     show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

Van Gogh

At the end of the Psalm is sung or said (to sing, click here)

From Psalm 51
Open my lips, O Lord, *
 and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. 
Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
 and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence *
 and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again *
 and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen. 

Gardner Near A Gnarled Apple Tree
Van Gogh

Jeremiah 7:1-15

1The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2"Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, 'Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the LORD!'" 3Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4Do not trust in these lying words, saying, 'The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these.' 5"For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, 6if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, 7then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. 

Public Soup Kitchen
Van Gogh

8"Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. 9Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, 10and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'? 11Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it," says the LORD. 12"But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13And now, because you have done all these works," says the LORD, "and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, 14therefore I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.15And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren-the whole posterity of Ephraim. -- NKJV

Church in Nuenen with One Figure
Van Gogh
Respond with a Reading
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

A period of silence may follow.

Songs of Response: Instead of a Show and White As Snow by Jon Foreman

Looking at Stars 

The God of curved space, the dry
god, is not going to help us, but the son
whose blood splattered
the hem of his mother's robe.

-- Jane Kenyon

Together we pray the Collect of the day:

Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Sower With Setting Sun
Van Gogh

Suggested Resources for Lent:

Now it's your turn!  What art are you enjoying this season? 
 Tell us about it in the  comments below.  
If you've written your own post, share the link.
"Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east." Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Wreck of the Deutschland

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