September 27th, 2020


Thoughts on Yom Kippur, from an American Christian

Today, I've been noticing a number of posts on my social media feeds from my friends who are observing Yom Kippur.   Many of them posted versions of this poem (whose authorship appears to be unknown):

To those I may have wronged,
I ask forgiveness.
To those I may have helped,
I wish I had done more.
To those I neglected to help,
I ask for understanding.
To those who helped me,
I thank you with all my heart

I have been struck lately by how much the American Church --- or, at least, the corner of which I inhabit --- has to learn about the fullness of God.

Aside: one lesson the Church has had the opportunity to learn about over the last six months is the role of lament.   Lament is a part of the historical Christian experience.   (My goodness, there's a book in the Bible named "Lamentations"!)  But lament hasn't been a part of the common worship experience of most Christians.   (As a church worship director, I've noted this any number of times while trying to find meaningful music to pair with certain sermon topics.) 

Of course, we've had plenty to lament over during the last six months, and some folks (like me) have re-discovered this part of the Christian experience.   We've had to learn from those who've learned the lessons of lament all too well (Black Christians, for example).   I've found that experience extremely helpful.

But back to the original topic.

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