Where is bread and wine?

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28 February, 2021Simon DentLamentations: Hope in the midst of agony

Join us as we worship together with Simon continuing our Lenten series on Lamentations.

How the Lord has covered Daughter Zion

    with the cloud of his anger!

He has hurled down the splendour of Israel

    from heaven to earth;

he has not remembered his footstool

    in the day of his anger.

Without pity the Lord has swallowed up

    all the dwellings of Jacob;

in his wrath he has torn down

    the strongholds of Daughter Judah.

He has brought her kingdom and its princes

    down to the ground in dishonour.

In fierce anger he has cut off

    every horn of Israel.

He has withdrawn his right hand

    at the approach of the enemy.

He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire

    that consumes everything around it.

4 Like an enemy he has strung his bow;

    his right hand is ready.

Like a foe he has slain

    all who were pleasing to the eye;

he has poured out his wrath like fire

    on the tent of Daughter Zion.

The Lord is like an enemy;

    he has swallowed up Israel.

He has swallowed up all her palaces

    and destroyed her strongholds.

He has multiplied mourning and lamentation

    for Daughter Judah.

He has laid waste his dwelling like a garden;

    he has destroyed his place of meeting.

The Lord has made Zion forget

    her appointed festivals and her Sabbaths;

in his fierce anger he has spurned

    both king and priest.

The Lord has rejected his altar

    and abandoned his sanctuary.

He has given the walls of her palaces

    into the hands of the enemy;

they have raised a shout in the house of the Lord

    as on the day of an appointed festival.

The Lord determined to tear down

    the wall around Daughter Zion.

He stretched out a measuring line

    and did not withhold his hand from destroying.

He made ramparts and walls lament;

    together they wasted away.

Her gates have sunk into the ground;

    their bars he has broken and destroyed.

Her king and her princes are exiled among the nations,

    the law is no more,

and her prophets no longer find

    visions from the Lord.

10 The elders of Daughter Zion

    sit on the ground in silence;

they have sprinkled dust on their heads

    and put on sackcloth.

The young women of Jerusalem

    have bowed their heads to the ground.

11 My eyes fail from weeping,

    I am in torment within;

my heart is poured out on the ground

    because my people are destroyed,

because children and infants faint

    in the streets of the city.

12 They say to their mothers,

    ‘Where is bread and wine?’

as they faint like the wounded

    in the streets of the city,

as their lives ebb away

    in their mothers’ arms.

13 What can I say for you?

    With what can I compare you,

    Daughter Jerusalem?

To what can I liken you,

    that I may comfort you,

    Virgin Daughter Zion?

Your wound is as deep as the sea.

    Who can heal you?

14 The visions of your prophets

    were false and worthless;

they did not expose your sin

    to ward off your captivity.

The prophecies they gave you

    were false and misleading.

15 All who pass your way

    clap their hands at you;

they scoff and shake their heads

    at Daughter Jerusalem:

‘Is this the city that was called

    the perfection of beauty,

    the joy of the whole earth?’

16 All your enemies open their mouths

    wide against you;

they scoff and gnash their teeth

    and say, ‘We have swallowed her up.

This is the day we have waited for;

    we have lived to see it.’

17 The Lord has done what he planned;

    he has fulfilled his word,

    which he decreed long ago.

He has overthrown you without pity,

    he has let the enemy gloat over you,

    he has exalted the horn of your foes.

18 The hearts of the people

    cry out to the Lord.

You walls of Daughter Zion,

    let your tears flow like a river

    day and night;

give yourself no relief,

    your eyes no rest.

19 Arise, cry out in the night,

    as the watches of the night begin;

pour out your heart like water

    in the presence of the Lord.

Lift up your hands to him

    for the lives of your children,

who faint from hunger

    at every street corner.

20 ‘Look, Lord, and consider:

    whom have you ever treated like this?

Should women eat their offspring,

    the children they have cared for?

Should priest and prophet be killed

    in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21 ‘Young and old lie together

    in the dust of the streets;

my young men and young women

    have fallen by the sword.

You have slain them in the day of your anger;

    you have slaughtered them without pity.

22 ‘As you summon to a feast day,

    so you summoned against me terrors on every side.

In the day of the Lord’s anger

    no one escaped or survived;

those I cared for and reared

    my enemy has destroyed.’

This week's questions for reflection is actually a task...

Over the next few days ask God to reveal to you something that breaks his heart in our world. Sit with the heart brokenness for a while before rushing on to prayer. How do you experience the Father’s pain? Spend some time with Jesus calling out to God to see and act.