Sunday, March 07, 2010
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. - Matthew 5:4
The sermon text last week was this verse, and the pastor went out of his way to explain that mourning might not just mean mourning a death, and that blessed doesn't just mean "blessed" but another word.
If you google the above verse, you'll get more sermons and thoughts from very intelligent men who say things like mourning might be if you lose a tough game.
I'm going to stick with the verse for mourn. I'm not the only man who has lost his father, and honestly, if the actuarial tables work right, many of us will lose one or both of our parents while we walk this earth. And you'll mourn.
And...losing a child - hopefully most of you will never even have to consider that loss. But you're going to find an almost larger-than-it-should-be part of our world has experienced.
So while mourn might mean a 3-2 loss, i'm good with leaving it mourning amidst death because that's where we live, you and I. In this terrible place where people leave every day. Every minute.
And I think the Bible guys got pretty close with "blessed." To me, "happy" is a frail thin shell of "blessed." To me, happiness is fleeting and non-essential. But blessed is necessary and worth seeking. "Blessed" meaning God is near. Not an emotion, just a statement of truth. "Heavy are rhinoceroses." Heavy is just what they are. We could try to figure different words to mean the same thing but we might do just as well to understand what "heavy" means.
The part where there's bigger holes in the translation is "comforted." Mostly because I'm not sure we spend any time knowing what that means. Meaning that most of us don't stop and think of how we comfort or if we know how to comfort or if the things we think are comforting are truly comforting.
Check this out: the verb is the same verb used in this verse in Matthew 18:9: "29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'"
The verb is the same as the part where the fellow servant begged him.
Ok, instead of "comfort", we have this verb that means to "call to one's side, beseech, to beg."
Who's doing the begging?
It says "they will be comforted." Me, the one who mourns. I am not the caller, not the one beseeching. Not the one exhorting.
This God who catches each of our tears in His palm is coming to us and kneeling in front of us and calling us to Him. He's the one who's opening his arms and gently, emotionally, with great care, calling us to Him. Please, Greg. Please come here. Please, Greg. Come here and put your head on my chest and let me enfold you with the only thing that will make sense. Come.