THE BEATITUDE SERIES
CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS
November 29, 2020
Verse of the week: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Look: This image is from Hyatt Moore, what thoughts and emotions does this image draw out? Can you see the sense of grief on the face of this individual? Does it make you see your own sense of mourning?
Colour: Here is a drawing for the children.
Listen: This song, Be Still My Soul (Sung by Kari Jobe): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq59iE3MhXM reminds us that there will be pain and grief. It speaks of disappointment and fear, but places these things in the confidence found through resting in Christ. Listen to this song and enjoy the words. Despite the mourning and grief that is a part of all of our lives, can we rest in Christ?
Think and engage:
As we navigate an unknown future and so many people around the world are facing the challenges of a global pandemic, there is a tangible sense of mourning and grief. Yes, we cling to a God that we can put our hope in. However, that does not mean that we will not mourn, feel pain or grief. In fact, Jesus is clear throughout scripture that there will be tears, grief, pain and mourning. Job is a great book of the bible to be confronted with reality of human suffering and pain, and with the belief that we will not always face this pain stating: “the lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety (5:11).
The Psalms also display a similar understanding and honesty toward God about the loss, grief, pain and mourning that humans face. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” This helps us, the reader understand that we will be brokenhearted. Psalm 31:9-10 says, “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.” The reality of these verses throughout the Psalms and scripture suggests that throughout human history, humans have experienced significant mourning and will continue to. We also know that Jesus promises to comfort those who mourn.
Jesus, in Matthew 5:4 says, blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Last week we learned about being poor in Spirit, but this week the significance is in the word mourn itself. Maybe last week’s verse and this week feel similar to you. However, those who are poor in spirit, are physically poor, lowly, afflicted, helpless – whereas in today’s verse, mourn – is to cry out, to grieve, to wail, to lament. For all those who feel pain so deeply that your tears are wails, and your heart laments, and you don’t even have the words to expires your pain – Jesus welcomes you in. Jesus says that you belong in the Kingdom of Heaven, that you will be comforted and that you will be blessed. He is looking to you in your suffering and pain and saying come to me!
Sometimes I ugly cry. This means that my tears are huge, and my face goes red, and … well you understand. My heart can sometimes be so broken over those I love, or for situations in life. I feel my pain has no end in sight. I often turn to the Psalms, poetry and honest conversation toward God. My mourning, my grief and my pain is welcome – and Jesus invites it. He says, you belong here in the Kingdom of heaven. Your pain, will turn to joy, and although you mourn today you will be comforted. May Matthew 5:4 and the reminder that those who mourn will know comfort bring you hope amidst the world we are living in.
Sink into the reality of this passage, and think through some questions. Feel free to talk with your family or go through these questions alone:
- Have you ever navigated a season of mourning?
- What did this mourning or grief feel like?
- How did you express your pain?
- Have you had the time and space to be honest with God about your pain?
- Were you also met with Jesus’ kindness in experiencing comfort?
- What did this comfort feel like?
- Do you feel welcomed into the Kingdom of heaven, even though you experience pain and mourning?
Today’s individual spiritual practice is to practice honest lament before God, and then spend time recognizing the ways you have experienced comfort. Spend some time either reading through the Psalms, or spend time in silence. Psalm 42 and 43 and here is a great resource if you want to learn more about lament: here is the link: https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2019/04/03/psalms-42-and-43-the-gift-of-lament/
Spend some time:
- You can ask why
- Look to, and address God
- Cling to hope and voice this
Remember through this process that God is listening. Your practice of lament is proof that you believe in a God who comforts. Having the courage to voice your pain is recognition that we truly believe in a God who came to redeem and rescue us. In your lament include hope, look forward and recognize the ways in which you believe God will comfort you.
Let’s spend some time praying for and focusing on the other: Romans 12:15 says, rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who morn. This week ask yourself:
- Who can I rejoice with
- Who can I mourn with
Obviously because of Covid-19 we need to maintain distance from one another. However, who can you call? Who can you write a card to? Who can you write a letter to? Who can you rejoice with and who can you mourn with?