Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

“Who are the mourners?

The mourners are those who have heard the good news of God’s good future and weep because it is not yet, still sadly not yet.  Their eyes have caught a glimpse of God’s future, and their eyes fill with tears because they see it challenged and contradicted in the present.  Their spirits ache for the coming of the kingdom Jesus announced, the future he made present in his words of blessing and his works of healing.  It is because they hope that they mourn.  They are eager for joy, ready to celebrate merrily the outrageously good news of such a future, ready to dance.  They are hungry for justice, thirsty for peace, longing for the rule of mercy.  They are eager to delight in the sight of the blind, to rejoice when the sick are healed, to celebrate when the dead are raised.  But the poor are oppressed still.  Wars and enmity continue.  There is little mercy to be seen.  Some are beaten down and crushed by their suffering still.  Some who were blind are blind still.  Some who were dying are dying still, suffering their way to a lingering death.  And the dead stay dead.  And the mourners cry out, “How long, O Lord?”

Who are the mourners?  The mourners are visionaries who ache with the wounds of the world’s sadness.”

– Allen Verhey, The Christian Art of Dying; Learning from Jesus (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011), 336-337.

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