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The Place of Grief

By Don Loftis | 02.22.12

Over the past several weeks there have been a number of deaths that have effected us personally and as a congregation.  Each of these has brought about a sense of loss and its attendant sadness.

The Scriptures certainly allow the living to grieve at the deaths of their loved ones.  When Jacob died, the text says, “Joseph fell on his father’s face, and wept over him and kissed him.”  They mourned for 40 days there in Egypt and another 7 days at his burial in the Land of Canaan.  John 11 is quite clear concerning the pain that Mary, Martha, and their friends were experiencing at the death of Lazarus.

As Christians, we are called to grieve, “but not as those who have no hope.”  This is a call to look ahead and to move forward.  David fasted and prayed during his child’s illness but washed and ate after his death.  He knew that his grief could not restore the child, but that some day he would be able to join his son.  Christians have their tears tempered with the joys of heaven and the certainty of an eternal reward.

In other words, Christians are able to look beyond the cemetery and feel more than their present discouragement.  We live with hope on a daily basis, and we face death with hope as well.  As Paul wrote, “Comfort one another with  these words.”

 


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