Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:4
This has been a particularly sorrowful week for our country as we’ve watched racism, brutality, reactive violence, and questionable leadership create a deep feeling of unrest on top of a non-stop pandemic. George Floyd’s family are mourning the loss of their kinsman. Business owners are mourning over losses, some even facing the grief of never being able to open again. Many are mourning over the loss of civility and rule of law as seen in the actions of some police. And of course, we should all be mourning the persistent of racism that never seems to get uprooted from our culture. There is grief enough to go around.
In the most counter-intuitive of ways, Jesus calls all of us who are grieving blessed. You might think him tone-deaf to the spirit of the moment. You might consider him Pollyanna-ish in his promise of comfort. But Jesus is only reconnecting his hearers with the long-standing refrain ever since the earliest OT prophets. God will not let human wickedness and suffering abide forever. Even our self-inflicted wounds resulting from personal sin will not keep his beloved people in chains eternally. If we bring our woes before the throne of heaven, our Loving Father is compassionate, and promises a day of restoration. And we can take heart in this promise, because God has proven himself a promise-keeping God. Just look at the Risen Christ and we’ll see our Lord is as good as his word.
Gracious Father, have mercy on me in my sorrow, and speedily bring a happy issue out of ever adversity according to your Son’s promise. Amen.