Summary: I talk about what mourning is and how the believer is comforted in the midst of tragedy. I give 3 areas in which all believers need to be mourning about from time to time. People who know how to mourn are people who are blessed of God.
Title: The Beatitudes (Part 2 - Blessed Are Those Who Mourn)
Text: Matt 5:1-12 (Key Verse 4)
- We live in a fallen world, where there is a lot of pain and suffering around us.
- None of us escapes the pains of life that come upon us. There are times when all of us Mourn.
- To mourn means to grieve or to feel sorrow.
- But when we look at the passage more closely, it kind of implies that not all people mourn.
- The question is does everyone mourn in this world?
- I like this story I found that answers this question.
Alexander Sanders, Jr., the Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, gave the commencement address at the University of South Carolina several years ago. His daughter, Zoe, was a member of that class.
Sanders told a story about his daughter. He said that when Zoe was 3, he came home to find the household in a crisis. Zoe’s pet turtle had died and she was crying as if her heart would break. Zoe’s mother had dealt with all of the other crises of the day and left this one for dad.
Frankly, Sanders felt like this was beyond the ability of a lawyer-politician. He said the mysteries of life and death are difficult enough for adults, but explaining this to a 3-year old was beyond his ability. But he tried.
First, he made the obvious argument that they would get another turtle just like the one who had died. But Zoe saw right through that. Even at 3 years old, she was smart enough to know that every living thing is different, there was no such thing as another turtle just like the one who was gone.
And so in desperation, he said, “Tell you what, we’ll have a funeral for the turtle.” Now being 3, she didn’t know what a funeral was, so he began to explain. He used the old trial lawyer’s maneuver that if you can’t win the argument at hand, take off on something completely beside the point.
So he explained that a funeral was a great festival in honor of the turtle. And she didn’t know what that meant either, so he said it was kind of like a birthday party and they would have cake and ice cream and balloons and have her friends over to the house.
Finally, Zoe’s tears began to dry up, and she became her happy, smiling self again. She was filled with joy at the prospect of what was about to happen. All because the turtle had died.
And then, a completely unforeseen thing happened. They looked down, and lo and behold, the turtle began to move. He wasn’t dead after all, and in a few seconds, was back to his old self, crawling away as lively as ever. And for once, a politician was at a loss for words.
But not his daughter. Zoe appraised the situation perfectly. And Alexander Sanders said that while this incident had taken place 20 years before, he remembered it like it was yesterday. With all the innocence of her tender years, she looked up at her father and said, “Daddy, let’s kill it.” (Article from Dave Russell, First Baptist Church of Ames, Iowa USA)
- Dave Russell goes on to say in his article, “There may be those people who in the face of deep losses have the attitude of this 3-year old towards her turtle—people who are not mourners. It is possible to be so self-centered, so focused on oneself, so unfeeling that a person really doesn’t grieve. This would be the person who rather than feel the loss of a loved one thinks about the inheritance and positions oneself to get the good china and the valuable collection. This would be the person who rather than seeing devastation in a natural disaster instead sees a buck to be made.”
- Jesus clearly states that we are blessed if we mourn.
- Because if we mourn it means we are in touch with our feelings.
- To mourn means we have reached out in love towards someone or something.
- To reach out to people, whether family or friends, takes trust and a sense of vulnerability.
- Leaving yourself exposed to the possibility of being hurt. For some people that’s hard to do because they have been hurt before.
- People with unresolved hurt from family or friends can cause a person not to trust and reach out to people. Thus never building relationships.
- To truly Mourn means to be in touch with your feelings, whether it’s with a person or a pet.
- So the question is what areas should we being mourning in?
- If we are healthy in our Spirits, meaning we haven’t let bitterness creep in, we have truly given our situations over to the Lord, what areas should we be mourning in to be called blessed?