“‘Strength’ is of course what our word ‘comfort’ is all about. Comforting someone doesn’t mean explaining that things aren’t as bad as they seem. They often are, or even worse. Comfort is what happens when someone comes alongside and gives you strength. How that happens is one of the mysteries of human life and love.” -NT Wright
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” -Matt 5:4
“When God turns the world the right way up, declares Jesus, then those who presently have nothing but grief in their hearts will find comfort, not simply because someone has come alongside them but because the world will be put to rights at last. And when that happens, death itself, the great bringer of mourning, will be overthrown. This ancient Jewish hope…is a hope for an eventual future in which, as John Donne insisted, ‘death shall be no more’ – this hope insisted that one day the creator God would make a new world, new heavens and new earth, and would raise people to a new and immortal bodily life to live in it, to look after it, to fill it with justice and joy. And Jesus’ promise of God’s kingdom coming on earth as in heaven means just that: that this tired, battered old world will be renewed from top to bottom, not thrown away, leaving us as mere disembodied spirits in a non-spatio-temporal heaven, but given a new, incorruptible bodily existence in comparison with which our present life is like a passing cloud. That is the promise of God’s kingdom; and that is the promise which undergirds, and comes to sharp expression in, the full set of Beatitudes.” -NT Wright
1 Thes. 4:13-18 has been running through my head all morning. Praise be to God that in his infinite wisdom he sought to prepare a plan through his Son for a future hope and a future resurrection.
In 1 Thes, Paul doesn’t say that Christians shouldn’t grieve; he says we shouldn’t grieve the same way the people who have no hope grieve. This is considered hope-less grieving; and Praise be to God, creator of the universe, divine planner of life, there is such a thing as hope-ful, or (better yet) hope-filled, grieving. This is a part of the Christian paradox, and hope-filled grieving could stand as a metaphor for what we as Christians think when we are confronted with this fallen world the way it is, filled with hopelessness and death and violence, with injustice, oppression and countless other examples of human misery. The Christian should cling to the Lamentations of Jeremiah, an appropriate Christian viewpoint on the world: unmitigated resonating powerful hope positioned in the midst of grief.
Please pray for a personal, unmistakably obvious interaction of comfort from God for the family. Please also pray that the people of God and our church family would lead in comforting each other as well. “Sympathy is love perfected by experience.” -Goudge
“And so the comfort which Jesus promises as part of the blessing of the Kingdom, the comfort which will be fully ours in the new world which God will make, comes forward from that world to meet us in the present. Thank God, there is both a future hope and an anticipation of that future hope in the present. And this means that we are called to be people of comfort, as well as people of grief, in the present: people through whom comfort comes to others. The Beatitudes are not only promises; they are agendas. We learn their meaning for ourselves so that we may make them real for others.Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted” -NT Wright
“As Christians we don’t grieve like the world grieves.” -Bro David Landrith 1963-2014