November 04, 2006

Mourners (2)

Romans 12:9-16

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4


"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

In today's reading God calls us to help give comfort as we mourn together. As citizens of God's kingdom, we are called to love and care for one another.

Someone who had a difficult marriage said to me, "I don't love my husband anymore; there has been too much pain and unfaithfulness." We mourn together when someone's marriage breaks down.

Our Lord Jesus was "a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering" (Isaiah 53:3). Following his example, we weep over all the suffering and evil in our world. We weep when children are abused, when babies are aborted, when people are raped, when people die of hunger, when wars kill innocent people. The psalmist cries out, "Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed" (Psalm 119:136).

The most important matter we need to mourn about is our own sin. Perhaps you remember that when Jesus preached about the kingdom, he said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4:17). Perhaps you remember a time when you caused deep pain to your loved ones by betraying their trust. You looked into their eyes and saw great pain and grief--and at the same time you may also have seen their love.

As the Bible says, "Love must be sincere." Love leads us to mourn together and with God.

We praise you, Jesus, that you are able to bind up a broken heart and give comfort with your loving presence. Guide us to comfort one another in your name. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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