Klaagpsalms as Liturgiese handeling
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In the context of white Afrikaans Reformed worship, the subject of pain is often avoided, and a mechanism for the expression and acknowledgement of suffering absent. In this article the work of a number of scholars, who argue that the psalms provide an outstanding model for the expression of both communal and individual lament, is discussed. The structure of psalms of lament is investigated with regard to its propensity for meaning making and is found to be more or less generic, in which lament transforms into praise. Bratcher (2011) reads this as a ‘structure for life’; similarly, Futato (1999) understands the macrostructure of the Book of Psalms as an analogy for a movement from suffering to glory. In his theological application of this interpretation, Futato argues that the Book of Psalms may also be understood as an analogy for the path to glory that Jesus walked through suffering. He argues that inexplicable human suffering has a place in the Book of Psalms and that this place precedes the glorious doxology at the end of the book. Thus, the structure of the Book of Psalms teaches us that the inexplicable suffering we endure in this life is in some mysterious way also part of our path to glory. From the perspective of this point of departure, ways in which psalms of lament may be incorporated into contemporary Reformed worship are discussed, as well as their relevance within the postmodern context. It is found that the psalms of lament offer a model for liturgical prayer in times of crisis that may be adapted in imaginative and resourceful ways in public worship today.