Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

I woke up from my post liturgy nap feeling a little sad.  I had been dreaming of my Dad, my Mom, and my oldest son:  All in the grave.  It got me to thinking about their funerals, and how a friend of mine was surprised that I took my youngest sons to their funeral.  She is someone whoe doesn't think its right to expose children to the harsher realities.  And that reminded me of a woman who, when I was teaching 4 year olds at Peninsula Bible Church, asked me to skip the part about God killing people in the flood.

"Let the children come unto me", Jesus comanded.  Is there another way to come to Jesus than by repentence?  Is there another way to come to him than by asking for mercy?  How can a child seek salvation if he doesn't know what he has to be saved from?  It seems to me that not letting children know about death, the consequence of sin, is the same as keeping them from Jesus.  Mourning the death of those he knows and loves is one of the steps to blessedness.

Part of that blessednes Jesus taught us about, probably all of it, is in the command to "come unto me".  We gather around Jesus.  We gather around the one who conquored death.  An Orthodox monk called Elder Ephraim said mere human sorrow becomes isolating and destructive.  When we keep children from the funeral of their loved ones we guide them away from Jesus and force them to moun alone.  If we keep children from funerals we keep them from Godly mourning, we keep them in isolation, we keep them from Jesus.

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