Summary: Blessed are they that mourn
I. What tremendous mourning we have gone through in these past few months since 9-11.
A. We have mourned the loss of thousands of people murdered in the Trade Towers, the Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania.
B. Matt 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (NIV)
1. Mourning is not something we associate with being comforted or with happiness.
2. Mourning (synonyms) sorrow, lament, grieve, anguish, woe, heartache, heartbreak, distress, pain
3. Those words we do not connect with happiness nor comfort.
C. But Jesus is a counter revolutionary when it comes to finding real happiness.
II. Blessed are they that mourn . . .
A. In God’s perfect creation, there would have been no mourning.
1. What are some of the things we mourn?
a. We mourn the death of a close loved one. Why? Because we miss them.
b. We mourn the loss of health and physical strength.
c. We mourn relationships which are not the way we know they ought to be.
2. We mourn many things which are all a result of one thing, sin.
a. Sin is what wrecked God’s Garden of Eden, sin is what brought death and sickness.
b. Sin is what enmity between Canaan and Able and what has continued to bring anger, hatred, bigotry and murder ever since.
c. The story of history is the story of tears.
B. But our culture has taught us to suppress all forms of mourning.
1. John James and Frank Cherry, in their book on grief recovery, trace the story of a boy named Johnny.
2. When five-year-old Johnny's dog dies, Johnny is stunned, and he bursts out crying.
a. His dog was his constant companion; it slept at the foot of his bed.
b. Now the dog is gone, and little Johnny's a basket case.
c. Johnny's dad stammers a bit and says, "Uh, don't feel bad, Johnny, we'll get you a new dog Saturday."
d. In that one sentence, Johnny's dad is really offering the first two steps in society's grief management program:
e. Bury your feelings;
f. replace your losses. Once you have the new dog you won't even think about the old dog any more.
3. Later when Johnny falls in love with a high school freshman girl the world never looked brighter, until she dumps him.
a. Suddenly a curtain covers the sun.
b. Johnny's heart is broken, and this time it's big time hurt. It's not just a dog.
c. This is a person his heart was fixed on. John is a wreck.
d. But mom comes to the rescue this time and says with great sensitivity,
e. "Don't feel bad, John, there are other fish in the sea."
f. Bury the pain, replace the loss.
g. Johnny has steps one and two down pat now.
h. He'll use them the rest of his life.
4. Much later, John's grandfather dies--the one he fished with every summer and felt close to.
a. A note was slipped to him in math class.
b. He read the note and couldn't fight off the tears.
c. He broke down sobbing on his desk.
d. The teacher felt uncomfortable about it and sent him off to the school office to grieve alone.
e. When John's father brought him home from school, John saw his mother weeping in the living room, and he wanted to embrace her and cry with her.
f. But his dad said, "Don't disturb her, John, she needs to be alone.
g. She'll be all right in a little while. Then the two of you can talk."
5. The third piece in the grieving puzzle was now making sense to John:
a. Grieve alone. So he went to his room to cry alone, and he felt a deep sense of loneliness
b. Bury your feelings; replace your losses; grieve alone; let time heal; live with regret; never trust again.
c. How does that sound? It sounds familiar. It's been society's approach for years.
III. The Bible has nine terms used for sorrow, the one used here (pentheoô, mourn) is the strongest, the most severe.
A. It represents the deepest, most heart-felt grief, and was generally reserved for grieving over the death of a loved one.
1. It is used of the disciples’ mourning for Jesus before they knew He was raised from the dead (Mark 16:10).
2. The word carries the idea of deep inner agony, which may or may not be expressed by outward weeping, wailing, or lament.
B. True mourning, deep spiritual mourning, grieves sin and all it has caused.
1. Immeasurable divine love caused our Lord to weep at the death of Lazarus (John 11:35) and over the sinning people of Jerusalem, whom He wanted to gather into His care as a mother hen gathers her chicks (Matt. 23:37).