Blessed are those who mourn.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4 

Have you ever read that in the sermon on the mount and wondered, “what in the world is Jesus talking about?”  I am not surprised if you have.  It can come across as a rather upside-down statement.  The sermon on the mount and the beatitudes are truly a reversal of worldly logic.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit…Blessed are those who mourn.” These statements mark the Christian and for good reason, without them, we are not one.

The reason for such a strong stance is because in recent years we have seemed to get caught up in the idea that the most important thing in our lives and for our lives is to be comfortable.  Jesus says that the most important thing is to be His.  This can only happen if we come to grips with who we truly are apart for Christ.

Apart from Christ we are poor, weak, and miserable creatures.  We can stuff the crevices of our hearts with temporary idols that seem to satisfy shortly, or we can “play the game” to get ahead and mask around with smiles pretending we have our world all together.  If, however, we choose to be honest, then we must mourn.  We must mourn the brokenness and wickedness we see in ourselves.  We must mourn the vileness we see in humanity and recognize that there is nothing we can do about it to change it.  If you have a classic car with a busted engine then you know that it does not matter if you get a new paint job, wash it, and wax it, get custom leather seats and classic whitewall tires.  Until you mourn the reality that your car is never going to run unless it gets a new engine then you are wasting your time.

If we never mourn the reality that our hearts are broken and nothing good can come out of them on our own strength, then we will never come to recognize our need for Christ.   We are taught, particularly as Americans, that we are great and can accomplish whatever we set our minds to.  That we are mostly good, and so we just need a little Jesus to help us get the rest of the way there.  Jesus speaks directly to the human condition and says, unless you mourn your current condition you will never be comforted.  We must mourn over our sinfulness because until we do we will never actually begin to understand why we need Jesus as badly as we actually do, and that news will never be as comforting as it truly is.

Scott Hoerner, Assoc. Min. of Youth & Young Adults