Monday, February 17, 2014

What do we mourn?

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (MT 5:4)

Who are those who mourn?  In a recent sermon about the Beatitudes, Jack explained that those who mourn could refer to those who are leaving their old way of life and turning to a new one.  In the process of changing - of repenting - we leave behind our selfish desires and turn to a new way of living.  In the process, we may mourn what we have lost:  our self-centered existence, our attachment to material objects, our former existence.  We may mourn that loss, but those who mourn will be comforted.

I think that when we change our lives, when we are transformed, not only do our lives change, but our desires change, too.  Do we mourn the loss?  Maybe not.  Maybe our priorities change so much that we do not regret the loss at all because we have gained so much in the change.  Is that comfort?  I don't think so; I think that is a change in attitude.

Before I joined the church where I am a member, a young man died.  He was killed in a military accident.  When discussing his death in church, the pastor said (I am told) that God was crying with those who loved him.  I am more convinced that those who mourn refers to those whose are suffering losses that make God cry, too.  Losses like the death of a baby, the fracturing of a relationship, the witnessing of the destruction of a life through addiction, or the suffering caused by illness.  When we move through these types of losses, we will be comforted.  God will hold us close, our church will surround us with grace and love; we will be comforted in mourning.

It just seems too ... um... contrived to say that when we mourn the loss of our selfish desires, we will find comfort.



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