“Are we there yet?” whines the small voice from the back seat. While incessant complaining irritates parents and makes short road trips seem interminable, it’s a sign that children trust us. They believe we care about their situation and have their best interests at heart.

The same is true for children of God complaining to our heavenly Parent. We only lament to God about the broken, unfair ways of the world if we believe God is in the driver’s seat and cares about us. Such questions are rooted in our faith, not our doubt.

The prophet Habakkuk fires questions at God about why life in the kingdom of Judah is so unjust. His corporate lament to God becomes an indictment of God’s people, who have not lived up to their calling. The year is around 600 BCE, and he bemoans violent destruction from the Babylonians. The law has become “slack” because God’s people have not held up their end of the covenant. Justice does not prevail; wickedness surrounds them.

Yet even in their waywardness, God hears their laments and holds space for their questions. Their cries become a powerful witness to their faith.

In our time, we hope our laments reveal our need for God. There are many historical events and current realities that make us cry, “How long, O Lord?” This honest question expresses our faith and testifies to our trust that God hears and responds to our cries. We can create space in our homes and churches for disciples of all ages to lament brokenness, question God, and grow as we live those questions together.

Heavenly Parent, may the cries of our broken hearts and the questions of our weary souls bear witness to our deep faith in you. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 19:1-10

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Lectionary Week
October 24–30, 2022
Scripture Overview

Habakkuk stands aghast at the “destruction and violence” all around and wonders how justice never seems to conquer. At the end of the reading, God contrasts the proud, whose spirit “is not right in them,” with the righteous who live by faith. The psalmist delights in God’s righteousness and in the commandments of God; however, he admits that “I am small and despised.” The psalmist’s “trouble and anguish” appear in Second Thessalonians also, but here the “persecutions and the afflictions” endured by the faithful serve a particular end: They stand as signs of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel reading Jesus tells Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house,” which reminds us that the righteous who live by faith are not necessarily the socially or religiously acceptable.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4. How can you wait actively for God’s response to your prayers and complaints? How will you enact God’s response when it comes?
Read Psalm 119:137-144. How do you follow God’s commandments in the face of injustice and corruption?
Read 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12. The work of the church has never been easy. How does your faith community work to exude God’s love in a time when many reject or feel rejected by church institutions?
Read Luke 19:1-10. When have you run to Jesus? How can you share your experience so others pursue Jesus as well?

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