Bishop's Reflections #4 The Gift of a New Language


I never particularly enjoyed learning languages at school. I wasn't very good at it and I gave them up at the earliest opportunity. But in my adult life I've had to learn some languages, my wife and I went to live abroad for a while, we had to learn two different languages.

And I discovered then to my surprise not only that I could do it, but that I actually quite enjoyed it .

Learning a new language can be a real gift.
That's the theme of these little videos that I'm doing at the moment; exploring different gifts and so today the gift of a new language. But not necessarily the language we expect because this is a language that I've been learning more recently which is described as the language of lament. It's a word that's used in Christian circles to mean a way of expressing our grief or our sense of loss,
or indeed expressing our anger and our frustration.

We get quite a lot of this in the bible, people don't always realize but the Psalms of the bible a lot of them, about 40% of them in fact, are Psalms of lament .It's the language of anger and sadness. And it is a language which doesn't necessarily come naturally to us,

so we have to learn it. Here's an example from Psalm number 13 The language continues it's an outpouring of grief but addressed to God and the ending of the Psalm then is really interesting because having poured out this anger and this frustration these questions of how long, finally the psalmist ends with these words

An amazing expression of trust and confidence in God. But it only comes after the expressions of loss and grief and anger.

There's something for us to learn at the moment in the church with all that's going on in our world

about how we learn a language of lament.
Such that we can then find a place of trust and confidence in God. So I pray for you wherever you may be watching this today.

That you may learn that new language and have that gift of that new language and that you may be led to the place of confidence and trust in God.


First published on: 8th February 2021
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