Monday, January 13, 2014
Mourning for the Morning
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."-Matthew 5:4
We have decided to start studying the "Sermon on the Mount" with our Sunday school group this month, possibly longer. It is interesting to read through this moment in Jesus' ministry where He used His momentum to lay out His expectations and standards for those who claim to be His disciples.
Jesus had gained momentum in His ministry and took the opportunity to pull the people following Him aside and lay out some heavy thoughts and heavy ideals for them to grasp. The first thing He shares in this section is "Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (v. 4). Whoa!
Just imagine this scene, Jesus the great teacher pulling in the group of people who have heard and seen some of His great works. They gather closely and expect Him to do some more "magic" or share some deep thoughts and He declares "if you want to inherit the kingdom of heaven, be humble!"
As with everything else, Jesus din't just say these words just to say them. It wasn't like He just needed a starting point and felt humility was the best route. No. He had a purpose. The purpose was to establish the foundation for moving forward with Him and maintaining a healthy relationship with God in order to influence the world for His glory.
Then He says the verse shared at the top, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."What? Imagine the disciples reactions to these words, "Ok, we get the humility stuff, but now you're saying when I'm in mourning I will be comforted? By whom? I don't feel blessed when I am sad about something, so I don't like your words Jesus!"
However, there is something deeper Jesus is reaching for here. Yes, when we mourn over the loss of a person or animal or the fact our favorite contestant on The Voice got sent home, He will bring us comfort. Yet, there is something more.
The more that we should mourning over is the world. The pain in this world felt by those with no food, no home, dying of curable diseases in foreign countries, elderly being mistreated, children being abused, and the list can go on and on. That is the mourning He is saying we are blessed for.
This is the very reason why His first statement needed to be made. We need to be humble in order to mourn beyond ourselves. Our humility will break us to a point of recognizing we are not living in our own special world. This world was made for everyone, not just our own interests. We mourn for the sake of those who have no voice. We mourn for the sake of the fact that we know there is more to come.
We are blessed for the very fact that we know the comforter who is to come! Our society will be healed. Our world will be renewed. And, we know Who will do it!
As we sit and cry over the pain of a starving child in the urban cities or rural community; the tragedy of a child being shot on the streets of Chicago or in the villages of Uganda; or the family dealing with the loss of a child, we rest in knowing the comforter has come and will come again!
The comfort for those who mourn comes from God and His peace that surpasses all understanding. That comfort is what we are called to share through our humility, knowing He is the only One Who can provide what is needed for this world to change!
May we feel that comfort today and know we are blessed in our mourning while we wait for the morning to come!
Question: What in this world draws you to mourning? Can you say, with confidence, comfort is coming?