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March 23, 2016
This is going from bad to worse. I’ve let go of all of my confidence in all of my strength and made peace with poverty of spirit and now you are telling me to mourn. Just as I ask what on earth this is all about, it hits me. We are going for “on earth” as it is in heaven. Yes, that’s what the kingdom of heaven means. The kingdoms of the world and all their warring ways have produced hell on earth. The entire economy of it all is bankrupt. It is a kingdom built on scarcity where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It is a broken system that breaks its most vulnerable citizens. It is a kingdom built on self-interest and self aggrandizement. It’s dog eat dog, kill or be killed and fend for yourself; a place where the one who has the gold makes the rule.
Once the kingdom of heaven is glimpsed all of this is painfully exposed. We must grieve this broken world order and the way it leaves so many broken in its wake. We must grieve our own participation in it; both our knowing and unwitting complicitness. To mourn means to open ourselves up to the pain and suffering of others. It means to become painfully aware of the way I have been part of the problem and how my own brokenness has broken others. To mourn means opening oneself up to the mourning grief of God over the devastation of his world.
It’s tough to consider how all of my former ways of strength and power have been, at the core, about building a world of comfort for myself. In that world, mourning was a non-value. In fact, it was to be avoided at all cost. Now I am learning that mourning is actually a state of blessedness and happiness because it is there that I find comfort coming from beyond anything I could have produced for myself. I am being comforted by the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit.
Superman and Wonder Woman have to go. We must hold their funerals, bury them and get on with mourning their loss. Until we do this, we will never get beyond their ultimately small, selfish and shortsighted kingdoms. We will miss the life that is truly good and blessed and ultimately powerful.
Is it any wonder they called Jesus a man of sorrows and one well acquainted with grief? See also Isaiah 53. That’s our teacher.
1. Sadness and mourning are not something we welcome are they? Why not? Why do we go to such lengths to build a world of comfort around ourselves? What scares you about being a person who mourns?
2. What would it mean to cease to work for our own comfort? What would it look like to open ourselves up to mourning the brokenness of our own lives and the brokenness in the lives of others.
3. Have you ever experienced being comforted from a source beyond anything you had known before? What was that like?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.