Jeremiah 9:13–21, Job 6:14–30, Matthew 5:4
Yesterday, when we were talking about misery loving company, we were ultimately talking about people without grace and generosity in their hearts. Today’s misery is very different.
For today, misery needs company. We as a nation and as a culture are pretty awful at mourning. We have clinicized death, separating it from our lives, except for entertainment. The reason this is important is by separating ourselves from it, we have also lost the ability to mourn. We don’t even have the “professional” mourners and wailers that Jeremiah speaks of.
Instead, many of us are like Job, feeling betrayed when our friends avoid or abandon us during our grief. You may be saying to yourself, “my friends haven’t done that” or “I have not done that to my friends”. If so, you and/or your friends have a ministry: to the church and the world. The church and the world avoid those feelings of loss and grief. The world and the church teach it differently, but the result is the same, “suck it up, and move on.”
There is also a darker side to this, and that is when death occurs in an estranged relationship. Many of the same responses in an estranged relationship occur in “normal” relationships, for we are very much estranged from each other. In estranged relationships, there is often an “I don’t care” response. The problem is that if there are too many estranged relationships in one’s life, there is also a lot of emotional baggage that often doesn’t get dealt with.
Jesus, however, promises that those who mourn will be comforted.
1) If you are a follower of Jesus, and Jesus says that those who mourn will be comforted, what do you think that means for you?
2) When you have grieved or mourned have you pushed people away? If so, why? If people “ran away” from you, how did that make you feel?
3) When is and what makes grieving or mourning healthy and unhealthy?