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Weeping With Those Who Weep

     Moments of tragedy can be a powerful opportunity to demonstrate the heart of Jesus.  If you have ever been effected by something powerful and tragic, then what you probably remember as being most helpful and powerful in that time were those who seemed to share the burden of your sorrow and pain - not necessarily the ones who tried to explain why it happened or who tried to "fix" the problem in their own ways.  Every time that I speak at a funeral, I reference John 11 and the account of Jesus weeping at Lazarus' funeral.  This happened moments before He would raise Lazarus from the dead.  Jesus didn't weep out of fear or futility...I believe He wept out of love, compassion and empathy for His friends and the grief that they felt.  I also believe that the Creator of everything that was good was weeping over the tragic effects of our rebellion and sin which brought sickness, pain and death into His perfect creation.  I mention this because I believe it is comforting to know that the God of the entire universe loves us and has enough compassion to weep along with His loved ones.  We also take joy and hope from the fact that He has the power to make all things new, and through the power of the Gospel He has already begun the process of restoring His creation and restoring us through the power of the blood of Jesus.

 

     As we respond to the tragic terrorist event in Orlando, as well as the senseless murder of a young pop star and the disappearance of a child in the same city in the span of a few days I think that this blog post from Russel Moore is challenging and helpful:

 

     AFTER ORLANDO, CAN WE STILL WEEP TOGETHER?  - RUSSELL MOORE

 

[9] Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. [10] Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. [11] Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. [12] Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. [13] Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

[14] Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. [15] Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. [16] Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. [17] Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. [18] If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. [19] Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” [20] To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” [21] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

(Romans 12:9-21 ESV)

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