January 19, 2021

Comforting Those Who Mourn

There are some who in their mourning wonder where God is—or even if God exists. But many say that in their pain they feel an acute sense of God's presence
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me... to comfort all who mourn.
Isaiah 61:1-2
Those who mourn are those who see the world through tears. For us, this usually means those who have suffered deep personal loss. Grief has changed the way they experience life. And though time may make the wound less painful, it will never completely heal.
But there are also those whose compassion for people in pain causes them to interpret the world through the suffering of others. These are often the people who work for peace and social justice. People who truly struggle for societal transformation are seldom happy with the way things are.
When in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told us that mourners would be comforted, it's interesting to note that the word for comfort was a form of the same word he used for the Holy Spirit in John. This Greek word connotes One who stands alongside a person in need. Older translations called the One who does this the Comforter, while newer ones prefer the term Advocate. Either one, I think, helps us better understand the beatitude that those who are mourn are blessed either because they will be comforted or they will find an advocate. 
There are some who in their mourning wonder where God is—or even if God exists. But many say that in their pain they feel an acute sense of God's presence. Just as the Crucified One is God truly present in a hurting world, so God is present in those who suffer. To them, perhaps more than to anyone else, Christ's promised Spirit has been poured out—not to take away pain, but to show in a very real way that in pain God is at work changing the world.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
 Matthew 5:4
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
I pray for my companions in life's pilgrimage: for the feeble and the dying; for the despondent and the oppressed; for the poor and sick and forlorn. May their valleys of weeping become filled with springs of joy.
 F.B. Meyer
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
Losung Losungen Moravian Daily Texts Watchword Watchwords Lehrtext Lehrtexte Teaching Text

Text selection ©2020 Evangelische Brüder-Unität

About Me

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An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, I've served congregations in the Colombia, Puerto Rico, Europe & the US. I received a B.A. in German from the University of Louisville and learned Spanish in Bogotá. My Master of Divinity degree is from Drew University in New Jersey. I will begin my tenure as settled pastor of Pilgrim Christian Church—with dual affiliation in the UCC and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)—in late March 2019. This is my personal blog, and the opinions found herein are my own and may not reflect the views of the church I am serving.

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