Blessed… In Mourning

 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4, New Revised Standard Version).

When my father passed away late last year, I had a number of people telling me things about how I should grieve. “Don’t be sad, everyone loses a parent.” It is a true statement, at least the second part of it, we all do lose parents. And while there are some people who are not sad, the majority of which have pretty good reasons, it was grief I and my family felt. Telling us not to be sad, was not going to make us happy. It just isn’t that simple, for any of us. When we mourn, when we are in grief, someone telling us to be happy is not going to make us happy.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn…” Why do we want to deny people a blessing? The thing is, we don’t want to be around sadness. We don’t want to be around tears. What we seem to want is to be around people who are on top of the world.  Then many will complain that they are fake because they are always happy.

In this lesson Jesus says “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” What blessing is there in mourning? Though I can’t remember who said it, but I recently read that one persons idea of blessing in grief is in the strength we gain from the experience. His idea was that when we are finally comforted we emerge from our grief stronger for the experience.

While it is not a bad theory I think the author missed the boat. Why do we grieve when we lose a loved one? Why did I cry like a little baby when I had to euthanize a family dog? Why was I so upset when I lost a job? Why did I grieve when I was a kid and my girlfriend traded me in for a different model?

We experience mourning because there is love in our hearts. How can we expect blessing if there is no love in our hearts? Why would we need comfort if we had no love? Who is going to comfort us if we have no love?

Love is the key. “Blessed are those who have loved and lost. Because they have loved and likely will love again, they will be comforted.”

Have you mourned? You are blessed because you have loved and you are loved.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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