Monday, 17 December 2018
Mourning - In the book "Prophetic Imagination", Walter Brueggemann talks about mourning and explains that it is a necessary step to moving into the next thing that G-d is going to do. Unless we are prepared to mourn, to grieve over what has already gone, we cannot be released to see and accept the new things that G-d has planned and created.
Yeshua said, "Blessed are those who mourn" (Matthew 5:4) and Rav Sha'ul wrote "Mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15), but how do we do this? We see many around us who are mourning the loss of family and friends, some who mourn the loss of jobs, money or status, and a few who mourn over falling standards of speech and behaviour, the
rise in marital breakdown and the loss of the family. How can we comfort them and encourage them to find a refuge in G-d, whose compassion is great enough to cover all these? By giving them the freedom to mourn properly; by allowing them space and time to talk about their loss; by listening without interrupting or judging; by appreciating their grief and - where appropriate - sharing it with them.
Brueggemann shows that Israel's ancient prophets called the people to mourn over the destruction of the Temple, the loss of the kings and even the time of exile in Babylon so that they would let go of what was already the past and hear the hope, healing and blessing that G-d was preparing for them. Solomon's temple and the days of Israelite sovereignty under a Davidic king were gone and not coming back, but what was to come - the new heart of flesh, being filled with the Spirit, days of plenty and blessing - were much better.
After listening and mourning, we can share the hope that we have in Messiah with those who need to hear about Him for themselves.