“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”
What was Jesus on about when he said this? Has anyone ever felt blessed in the midst of agony and sorrow?
If you went up to someone who was grieving and said, “wow, you’re blessed”, you might end up on the wrong side of a fist.
So why say it?
I think there are a number of ways to look at this but remembering it must be held in the context to which it is written. It is the opener for Jesus’ sermon on the coming Kingdom and discipleship.
“Blessed are those who mourn”
the word blessed as I understand it is a state of which others would envy. It is a privileged position. Others want to be in that position.
strange when you think about it in this context.
Again, we ask, why would anyone want to be in a place of mourning?
When we mourn it demonstrates that we care about something enough that it moves us to an emotion. We have taken hold of reality. We are not hiding. We are not living on our own island. We are investing in people. We are being real. That’s a good thing.
To me sin is the breakdown of relationship. Either with ourselves, others, creation itself or God. Relationships are important. The Kingdom of God is about relationships. Bringing people together. Jesus died to free us from this breakdown. To allow us to re-enter into relationships.
If we are choosing to be disciples of the true living God then we should be about relationships. Entering into and blessing the lives of others. We wouldn’t mourn for people if we did not care about them.
The other understanding of ‘mourn’ is for those who are oppressed and marginalised. God is on the side of the poor and the oppressed. God is for them. God will one day free them. That’s a good thing also.
“For they will be comforted”
This has elements of the future tense as in “one day they will be comforted” but it can also be understood outside of a specific time.
There are also echoes of Isaiah when God said that he will comfort the oppressed and brokenhearted.
So what do we take from all of this? What are we to learn from this beattitude.
1)If we truly wish to follow God then we need to put people first.
2)we need to care about those who are oppressed and mourn for them. This is more than pity. It is a call to active participation in the restoration of people.
3)In times of distress we may be able to find comfort in the knowledge that God is for us.