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February 15

Lamentations 3, 58 – 66

Something to read

You have taken up my cause, O Lord,
you have redeemed my life.
You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;
judge my cause.
You have seen all their malice,
all their plots against me.

You have heard their taunts, O Lord,
all their plots against me.
The whispers and murmurs of my assailants
are against me all day long.
Whether they sit or rise—see,
I am the object of their taunt-songs.

Pay them back for their deeds, O Lord,
according to the work of their hands!
Give them anguish of heart;
your curse be on them!
Pursue them in anger and destroy them
from under the Lord’s heavens.

Something to think about

King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah in 597AD. Ten years later, in response to the rebelliousness of the people of Judah, he destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple and also deported a large proportion of the people to Babylon. 

It’s difficult to imagine the pain and utter devastation the people felt. Their identity, security and faith lay in ruins.

The author of Lamentations is a witness to the cruel violence the people suffered. This suffering was both physical and, as we read in today’s portion of scripture, psychological. His reaction is to cry out to God for vengeance.

In the new covenant, Jesus speaks about a different way to deal with violence and suffering. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us some of his most revolutionary teachings. To turn the other cheek; to love enemies; to bless those who curse - ideas that Jesus would demonstrate at his arrest, torture and execution.

Something to do

Christian Aid began as the churches' response to the plight of refugees in Europe at the end of the Second World War. We have continued to be involved in conflict and post-conflict work around the world, in places such as the DRC, Colombia and Gaza. Read about this work on our website.

Something to pray

Oh God, lead us from death to life
From falsehood to truth
Lead us from despair to hope
From hate to love
From war to peace
Let peace fill our hearts and our world.
Amen.

Today’s contributor is David Muir, Christian Aid’s Senior Regional Co-ordinator for its South East region

 

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