Blessed are Those who Mourn
Jesus announces that people of the kingdom are people who mourn. But what does that mean?
In John’s gospel, Jesus weeps at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. In Luke he weeps over the city of Jerusalem. And in the sermon on the mount he declares, “Blessed are those who mourn.” These were not a few moments of weakness. This was an essential part of Jesus’ message. Mourning and grief are at the core of the gospel.
Now of course, the good news is not that it is good to be poor, brokenhearted, or to mourn and grieve. The good news is that even in the midst of your spiritual poverty, broken-heartedness and mourning heaven is coming to you! This is a powerful declaration of a brand new reality. A gracious invitation to all who mourn.
Blessed are those who thought they had missed out.
Blessed are those who thought they did not measure up.
Blessed are those who thought they had no hope to be blessed.
Because now, through Jesus Christ, the life of heaven has arrived.
But not only that, mourning will be one of the core characteristics of those who have inherited God's kingdom. Once you've caught a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven (peace, justice, reconciliation) and the way it contrasts from the kingdoms of this world (war, famine, racism, violence) you begin to mourn.
In the face of our own sin and the sin of the world we grieve. But we are not mourning for something we do not have. We are mourning for something we do have, but not yet in full.
“The mourners are those who have caught a glimpse of God’s new day, who ache with all their being for that day’s coming, and who break out into tears when confronted with its absence… The mourners are aching visionaries.” - Nicholas Wolterstorff