REFLECT – Day 10:
The final day of exploring the phrase ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’ is finally upon us. We have had a brief look at some bible passages which reveal to us how Jesus embodied such a claim and how this impacts our lives today as His followers. We’ve made lists, we’ve internally reflected, perhaps you’ve even put your thoughts into actions and helped a neighbour. Maybe you don’t feel like you’ve had those opportunities yet. Don’t worry, this isn’t a shaming exercise, but it is an encouragement to keep our eyes open and to pray for the courage to respond when we see.
Today’s passage comes from the book of Romans, Chapter 8 Verses 35-39. Romans is a profound but dense theological letter written by the Apostle Paul. It is a worthwhile exercise to read the whole book from front to back and try and get to grips with how Paul’s arguments fit together. But for now, it’s time to read the allocated verses for today.
One of the greatest challenges of living well is to hold together joy and pain: to acknowledge life’s challenges and difficulties but not to be overwhelmed or twisted by them
The second beatitude shows us the way. We are to open eyes, ears and hearts to our own suffering and the suffering of others. but we hold that pain and difficultly in the deeper, wider, higher frame of God’s immeasurable love shown in Jesus Christ, his Son. In that love, every hurt will be healed, every tear turn to joy, every night give way to a new dawn.
Paul tells us that nothing in all creation can or will separate us form the love of Christ. Here is a truth to take hold of daily that runs through the worship of the Christian family – the church.
We all have things that we feel could possibly severe the ties between us and God. Perhaps it is the tragic loss of a family member or friend. Maybe the horrid words of another human meant to harm you or someone you love. Or maybe you have felt rejection come from within the church and you are struggling to see God beyond that pain.
Personally, these words came as great comfort to me when my Grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, as I felt the truth of these words burn into my heart like never before: ‘nothing can separate us from the love of God.’ Those comforting words not only helped me move forward into relationship with my family but also with God through a tough time.
The Church is called each day to joy, but the kind of joy which holds and embraces suffering and pain in the world and in the Church.
O Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us heartily rejoice
in the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving
and be glad in him with psalms. Psalm 96
Learn Romans 8:38 by heart and say it each night before you go to sleep this week.