A Liturgy of Grief
In this commentary on Lamentations, a respected Old Testament scholar and volunteer hospital chaplain presents a biblical model for helping those coping with grief.In this commentary on Lamentations, a respected Old Testament scholar and volunteer hospital chaplain presents a biblical...
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In this commentary on Lamentations, a respected Old Testament scholar and volunteer hospital chaplain presents a biblical model for helping those coping with grief.In this commentary on Lamentations, a respected Old Testament scholar and volunteer hospital chaplain presents a biblical model for helping those coping with grief. Leslie Allen suggests that the book of Lamentations is a demonstration of grief work that reveals God's sometimes hidden support for those who grieve and for their caregivers. The book includes a foreword by Nicholas Wolterstorff, author of Lament for a Son. (66)"A Liturgy of Grief is at one and the same time an important contribution to our understanding of and dealing with grief and an important contribution to our understanding of one of the supreme pieces of literature in the Old Testament. Take and savor!"
--Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University and University of Virginia; author, Lament for a Son (from the foreword)
"Leslie Allen combines his considerable skill as a biblical interpreter with his extensive experience as a hospital chaplain to explore the book of Lamentations for its profound resources for ministering to those who suffer grief. The result is an illuminating and compelling study that will help people who are in the throes of grief as well as those who support them."
--Tremper Longman, Westmont College
"Realism. This is the desperate need for a church that has forgotten how to lament. Committed to celebration, it has few tools to articulate excruciating grief at a loss, to confess sin and accept divine judgment, or to express frustration with God in times of trouble. In the expert hands of Leslie Allen, Lamentations becomes a companion through the labyrinth that is the difficult, and sometimes sorrowful, pilgrimage of faith on the way to hope. We need this book."
--M. Daniel Carroll R., Denver Seminary
"Leslie Allen is no stranger to tears. He is a scholar of the Hebrew Bible whose exegesis is thoroughly tested week after week as he goes walking in hospital halls as a chaplain with a listening heart. His responses to grief well up from the empathic soul of a wounded healer who can point the way to the discovery of a holy hope. This is a book for the caregiver who loves thoughtful scholarship and for the scholar who, in loving people, has a heart for caregiving."
--David Augsburger, Fuller Theological SeminaryLeslie C. Allen (PhD, University of London) is senior professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He has written several major commentaries and has been a hospital chaplain for more than a decade.Foreword by Nicholas Wolterstorff
First Poem: Grief, Guilt, and the Need for Prayer
Human Losses (1:1-6)
Material Losses (1:7-11)
Zion's Cry of Culpability (1:12-16)
Comments on Zion's Cries (1:17)
Zion's Confession and Prayer of Grievance (1:18-22)
Second Poem: Grief, Guilt, and the Need for Prayer
God's Awesome Anger at Work (2:1-5)
God's Systematic Destruction of Zion (2:6-10)
A Sea of Troubles (2:11-17)
A Call to Zion to Pray and Zion's Prayer (2:18-22)
Third Poem: The Wounded Healer
His Testimony of Guilty Wounds (3:1-16)
His Second Thoughts (3:17-24)
The Wounded Healer's Sermon (3:25-39)
His Call to the Congregation to Pray (3:40-51)
His Testimony of Prayers of Appeal and Grievance (3:52-66)
Fourth Poem: Grief and Guilt Prolonged--and to Be Reversed
The Cheapening of Human Life (4:1-6)
More Horrors of the Siege (4:7-11)
How One Guilty Group Suffered (4:12-16)
Despair--and Eventual Hope (4:17-22)
Fifth Poem: The Congregation's Prayer as Turning Point
Present Distress and Confession (5:1-7)
Humiliation, Sorrow, and Confession (5:8-16)
Challenging Cries for Help (5:17-22)
In Lamentations, we read of the unbearable grief experienced by a group of believers. Leslie Allen suggests the book can be read as the script of a liturgy performed to help the people of God come to terms with the fall of Jerusalem and the national catastrophe it entailed. It reveals God's sometimes hidden support for those who grieve and for their caregivers.
In this unique commentary on Lamentations, respected Old Testament scholar and volunteer hospital chaplain Leslie Allen appropriates this oft-neglected book of the Bible to deal with a universal issue. Incorporating stories of pastoral encounters with hospital patients, Allen integrates Scripture and pastoral care to present a biblical model for helping those coping with grief. The book includes a foreword by Nicholas Wolterstorff, author of Lament for a Son.
Leslie C. Allen (Ph.D., DD, University of London) is Senior Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has written many Old Testament works including Psalms and Ezekiel (Word Biblical Commentary) and Chronicles (The New Interpreter's Bible and Communicator's Commentary on the Old Testament), Ezra-Nehemiah (New International Biblical Commentary) and Jeremiah (Old Testament Library). In addition to mentoring PhD students, Allen teaches courses on the Hebrew Prophets, Writings, Psalms, and Lamentations. He is involved in associations in both the U.K. and the U.S. including the Society for Old Testament Study, Tyndale Fellowship, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature.
Koorong- Editorial Review.