Scripture: Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4

Theological Thought: The Beatitudes in general tend flip the expectations of who is blessed and who is cursed.  In this example, those who mourn are generally considered unfortunate to be in a position to mourn (cf Job 2), but Jesus indicates that they are blessed because in their mourning, they shall receive comfort from their Father in Heaven.  His presence is to count for more than their loss.

Reflection: I mark the four year anniversary of my Father-in-law’s death this year.  It causes me to reflect on just how tough the last four years have been, not because I have been mourning his death for four years, although that is part of it, but because there have been so many other trials and struggles in that time.  There is a litany that I repeat in the back of my mind that reminds me just how hard the years have been.  But as hard as they have been, I can say that I have also been comforted in that time.  I have received comfort from friends, from family, from strangers who didn’t know what they were doing or why.  It is the kind of thing that really exemplifies the importance of the body of Christ, not because other believers are a balm to us, but because they can speak to us when we don’t want to listen.  To paraphrase Bonhoeffer – Sometimes it becomes so hard for me to hear Christ in me, that I need Christ in you to help me out.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the body of believers all around me.  Thank you for filling my life with people who can seek your heart, and I pray that all comfort and peace would fill us all.

Practice: Communion isn’t just about a procession to the altar, it also represents unity within the body of Christ as we join together with Christ.  I personally find that communion is best when shared with friends and family before a meal.