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Circling the Square

Grieving with Those Who Grieve

Posted by Bill Lovell on

"Jesus wept..." John 11:35–one verse–the shortest in the Bible–is also one of the most meaningful.

The context is the raising of Lazarus, Jesus' beloved friend and the brother of Mary and Martha. A few verses later, Jesus prayed and then called Lazarus out of the tomb–a dramatic demonstration of Jesus' power over death itself. 

But before Jesus raised Lazarus, he first wept with those who were grieving. What a powerful expression of Jesus' love for his people and his compassion for us and his deep identification with us, even–maybe especially–at our most weak and vulnerable. 

We are in a season when many people are grieving–grieving because of sickness, grieving because of job loss, grieving because of fear and uncertainty. And more than a few are grieving because, like Mary and Martha, they too have lost loved ones. 

Of course, we know, as Christians, that Jesus has power over death and sickness and sin and all the other uncertainties of life. We can, therefore, confidently sing praise to God, in the unemployment line, at the bedside, and even at the grave.

But like Jesus, we should first weep with those who grieve–who either don't know the hope of the gospel, or who, through anxiety, suffering, or simply being overwhelmed, have perhaps, for just a moment, forgotten it. 

My hope for Christ Church Carrollton is that we will be a church that proclaims and discusses and celebrates, and that we will also be a church that grieves and weeps, that we will enter fully into the messy brokenness of this sad and confused world. Like Jesus did.   

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