DAY 1: BLESSED MOURNING
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" (Matthew 5:4, NIV). It is safe to say that most people living in the world in 2021 are experiencing a season of mourning. We are mourning the death of loved ones, and the end of life as we knew it before the Covid-19 pandemic. And each loss, big or small, brings forth its unique process.
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross identifies five distinct psychological stages of mourning. Most people who mourn go through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. When you want to throw the halting screen that fails to replace a treasured cup of tea with your best friend, you are mourning. When you search the internet for every detail on vaccine physiology that even scientists fail to understand, you are mourning. And that means that you are blessed.
In Isaiah 22 we read about a nation who failed to feel the destruction around them in Jerusalem. "At that time the Lord, the Lord of Heaven's Armies, called you to weep and mourn. He told you to shave your heads in sorrow for your sins and to wear clothes of burlap to show your remorse. But instead, you dance and play… You say, 'Let's feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!'" (Isaiah 22:12-13, NLT). The brokenness of the world is something to mourn about. Death and sorrow, the consequences of sin, should neither be celebrated nor underestimated. Nor given a place on the rostrum.
Sin and all its consequences were conquered through Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. "But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57, NLT). The fact that we continue mourning the effects of sin on the earth confirms the stark contrast between eternal life in Christ and the suffering we endure now. The fact that we acknowledge that the current state of the world is not how God intended it to be, is the first step towards mourning and being blessed!
"The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God" (Psalms 51:17, NLT). God welcomes his mourning children into his arms with a great longing to comfort them. He rejoices with the angels when lost children mourn in repentance, anticipating the joy that awaits. "The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!" (Mark 1:15, NLT).
1 Corinthians 15:35-58