Happy are those who mourn
Matthew 5: 1-4
The Sermon on the Mount
5 Jesus saw the crowds and went up a hill, where he sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2 and he began to teach them:
3 “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor;
the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
4 “Happy are those who mourn;
God will comfort them!
Happy are those who mourn,
God will comfort them -
so that’s all right then?
Is it worth the mourning to get the comfort?
Surely it is not that simple,
an equation that cancels out?
Sometimes we may be glad
to see a loved one slip peacefully away
after a long and painful illness,
but that doesn’t make the loss any less,
the gap in our lives any easier to fill.
“He had a good innings”
we say glibly,
“She put up a good fight”.
but how hard,
how hard it is
to see these clichés as any real comfort.
Grief distorts our vision, Lord,
we look for the wrong thing –
for a magic wand?
for time to rewind itself?
and we look in the wrong place,
or fail to see what is right in front of us.
One wise person said she couldn’t find any way through her grief
until she realised that other people were to be her comfort,
that the kindness of others was a balm to her raw feelings,
and that her loving God had sent her friends and family to show his love and care.
Often these others got it wrong,
said something clumsy or inappropriate,
but she had no doubt that God was working through them to bring her comfort.
Give us grace, Lord,
to accept the surprising ways
in which you bless the mourners.