“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted” – Vicar’s weekly thought 12th May

“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted”
At the start of his ministry Jesus said part of what God sent him to do was ‘to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favour has come’1. The passage in Isaiah he was quoting from went on to say how, ‘To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.’Indeed, the people of God’s kingdom would be ‘like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.’There are many who mourn in our world, mourn for many things. What do you mourn for?

Today we’ll hear part of the story of the ultimate mourner – Job! The man who literally lost everything! We’ll also read God’s reply to his ‘complaints’!3 It is clear from what God says to Job, we will never fully understand why we suffer so much. True as that may be, it is also profoundly true that in the Kingdom Jesus brought among us, we shall be comforted in a way that is beyond our understanding too. A comfort that speaks of beauty, brings unexpected joy, and draws out praise from our hearts. Pray that each of us may be wise enough to believe what Jesus says in our hearts, to go his way, to bring all our mournings to Him. Those that discover this truth of the risen Jesus’ Kingdom will indeed start looking like ‘great oaks’ among us, a witness to his glory in a world that mourns so much. A testimony to the fact that Jesus is indeed the light that shines in the darkness.4
1Isaiah 61.2 & Luke 4.19 2Isaiah 61.3 3Job chapters 38-41 4 John 9.5