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September 22nd, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Third Homily: Blessed Are You Who Weep Now

We are familiar with the Psalm that says “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”  We often forget the part that comes just before: “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.”

We all live in a world that is broken and twisted. We live in a world under curse. Beauty still finds its way through, but sorrow, tragedy and ugliness are always a heartbeat away, and there for the looking.  Too many people, in sinful denial just gloss over the tragic undercurrent that runs through the fallen world as they try to stay positive and climb their way to the top. Our species is in massive denial.

People get crushed in this world of sorrow and curse. From where they sit all seems hopeless. Their hearts are broken. Their eyes are filled with weeping.

Jesus cares about the brokenhearted. He came to bind them up. A long time before Jesus came the people of Israel were swept away in exile. They were suffering under the oppression and cruel tyranny of various foreign nations  Through their prophets they“saw” God’s plan to bring them home again.  We sing about their hope in a popular praise chorus:

“Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

As Jesus faced the crowd before him on the mountain, He said, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” Sorrow and suffering and loss can make people cynical and jaded. It can also drive them in their need to their Maker. Many in the crowd that day in their weeping were yet coming to Jesus, looking to Him as their Master and Lord, Jesus was able to pronounce them fortunate. Jesus knew that in Himself, in time, their sorrow would turn to joy, and their weeping would turn to laughing.

In Isaiah 53 it says that Jesus bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. Yes, he also was crushed for our iniquities. Part of our weeping should be over the unshakable reality of our own sins. Yet even those tears Jesus can turn to laughter.

All over the world human beings are competing for food and land and power. It’s not pretty. Human beings made in God’s image get crushed in the process. But THE human being, Jesus of Nazareth, he was voluntarily crushed so that we could know freedom from our captivity. When our life sorrows lead us not to court or to vengeance but to Jesus, then there is hope of joy in the morning.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

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