This important work is an excerpt from the book A Time for Sorrow: Recovering the Practice of Lament in the Life of the Church (Hendrickson Publishers, 2019). Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, many in the United States and around the world are crying out for justice for our African American brothers and sisters. Emmett G. Price III, director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, offers this essay to inspire and challenge Christians around the world to join our hearts and our minds together as one to petition, hear, praise, heal, and be with God and with one another. It is here, in worship, that we lament.
The communal need for lament is inherent to the human condition. This chapter aims to challenge the church of the twenty-first century to reimagine and reengage in the sacred practice of lament as a spiritual discipline—not merely as an individual transactional practice to assuage traumatic moments, but as one that displays our intentional love for each other. It is our hope that this essay will cause the arc of justice to move at least one degree in the direction of “liberty and justice for all.”