What if I told you the earth was flat? Or that water isn’t wet? Or Gold is useless and worthless? Or that Jesus’ birthday is actually in June or Oct? Well all of those things would be crazy. Except for the Jesus birthday thing, that one is actually more truth than you realize, spoiler alert! So crazy you would either label me a conspiracy dude or stop reading all together.
Well that’s what I feel when I read, “blessed are those who morn…..” wait….what? Those who mourn are blessed? How? Why? The last thing I think of when I think of blessing is mourning. I associate mourning with loss and blessing with gain.
There are two things inherently wrong with that statement: 1. Blessing does not mean gain. There are times in the Bible where we see statements that are contrary to what we would see as “blessing” but yet you are supposed to consider yourself blessed. Luke 6:22 anyone? 2. Mourning is about losing something, but not like we may think. I know March madness is happening right now. I am sure that fans of UNC or Virginia have experienced their share of mourning this past week. There is this idea of mourning as more than loss. Mourning at its core is about dependence. For us, as Christ followers, that dependence is placed at the feet of Jesus. We mourn not only that we lost something but so that we can experience the grace and love of Christ on a level that we would have not experienced if life were all rainbows and skittles. It moves us to a deeper level of relationship when we mourn. Relationship with God and relationship with others. The way we were originally created to be!
That’s why when we read the first part of Matthew 5:4, we should realize that blessing for those who mourn is an extra measure of grace. Blessing for those who mourn is an extra measure of love. Blessing for those who mourn is an extra measure of mercy. The second part of Matthew 5:4 is where that “extra” comes from: “for they will be comforted”. God provides comfort in two ways: 1. Through us! As people of God we should be ready to provide an extra measure of whatever is needed when people are in mourning. 2. Through the Holy Spirit! This is where we get our extra measure from, The Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit can both minister directly to the person in mourning and also empower us to minister more deeply than we could if left to our own devices.
My hope today is that we see people who are in mourning. Not so that we can pass judgement. Nor should we judge if they should mourn or what they are mourning about, but to see them as Christ would see them, people who should be afforded an extra measure of comfort.
Challenge for today:
1. If you are mourning something today, take comfort in knowing that God sees you! God cares for you! God provides an extra measure of what you need today so that you can find comfort. Seek him and his comfort today!
2. If you are not mourning I pray that you see those who are mourning. Offer them an ear to speak to, a shoulder to cry on, and a person who is there for them. Pray that the Holy Spirit would empower you to minister to and comfort people the way the Holy Spirit does: extra! Don’t judge…Don’t solve…Don’t fix…Just Comfort!