With you in mourning Jacksonville Presbyterian ChurchIn the Gospel of John, when Mary’s brother Lazarus dies, her initial response is, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Later, the crowd asks, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Maybe during times of heartache, you have asked the same questions, “Lord, couldn’t you have kept this from happening? Why did you allow it?”

These are normal questions. They are human questions. While the scripture doesn’t try to hide them, it doesn’t try to answer them either. The emotions we feel during times of heartbreak are normal. The questions we ask are okay. God is big enough to handle our questions – even our anger.

It is the second part of this scripture that really resonates with me. When Jesus shows up, Lazarus’ friends are weeping, and Mary is weeping. The scripture says “(Jesus) was greatly disturbed in spirit, and deeply moved… And (He) began to weep.”

Jesus wept. It’s the shortest verse in the Bible – but one of the most powerful. The Son of God is moved. He feels the loss at the deepest level of his being. He feels the ache and the pain, and he weeps.

He is with you in your loss. He weeps with you. And, he weeps with all families who have lost loved ones.

In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus said, “Blessed are those in mourn for they will be comforted.”

Let us pray: We remember today, O God, the words of Psalm 34, that you are near to the brokenhearted. We pray today especially for those who are mourning and those who weep. Surround them with people who will weep with them. Grant them your strength and peace. We pray also for our nation; for the women and men serving this country near and far. Continue to bless us that we may be a blessing to this world that you so love. Amen.