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Lament and thanks

Voices of lament and thanksgiving.

Something to read

Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard the sound of my pleadings. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them for ever.

- Psalm 28:6-9.

Something to think about

Psalm 28 is a psalm of lament and thanksgiving, with the last verse containing intercession. It can be seen as an individual’s prayer when suffering persecution from their own community.

The verses highlighted here are exclamations of thanksgiving and gratitude as God has heard their prayer. The last two verses contain confession and turning the focus from an individual to the community and their leaders.

Leaders of communities can work for the benefit of the few not the many, but the Psalmist is making a plea for the benefit of the whole community.

Good governance is one area of Christian Aid’s global work, working to change the ways that public authorities - whether that be governmental or non-governmental organisations respond to people.

However, good governance is a dialogue and we work to enable people to have a voice empowering those from marginalised communities and promoting citizens engagement with the state.

The Psalmist is clear that the strength and protection for their situation has come to God and that is who they turn to in thanksgiving and supplication. Working to ensure good governance and giving people a voice is one way of turning lament into thanksgiving whilst benefiting whole communities.


Something to do

Take some time to consider what good governance means to you.  What does it mean for a community to have a voice in influencing decisions being made that influence them at local, national and international levels?

Take some time to explore Christian Aid’s voice and governance programmes. Are there lessons to be learnt from these programmes that you could deploy in your own communities as a participant or as a leader?

Something to pray

God of strength and protection, I give thanks for those times that you have guided and held me. Give the leaders of our communities wisdom to govern justly and mercifully, for the benefit of all. I pray for opportunities for all citizens to be able to actively participate in their own governance. I pray for all those in marginalised communities working to empower and enable those communities to have influence in decisions that affect their lives.

Today’s contributor is Jenny Holden, who at time of writing this was a final-year ordinand in the Scottish Episcopal Church from the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, currently based in Edinburgh.