Blessed Are Those Who Mourn In Community

No one likes to grieve. No one feels lucky to mourn. So when Jesus tells an eager gathering of disciples “Blessed are those who mourn,” I’m not sure church growth gurus would see that as the strongest recruitment strategy.

Mourning in the Jewish imagination is not a foreign emotion. Mourning has deeply historical connotations for the Hebrew People of God.

Mourning in the Drama of God’s People

The majority of the time mourning is spoken of in the Old Testament, it is intrinsically connected to the feeling that God is absent. There are passages like Lamentations 1 – “Zion’s roads mourn, for no one comes to her, all her gateways are desolate, her young women grieve, bitter anguish is her voice. Her children have gone into exile with no one to hear their cries. The Lord has left us in grief.” The writer of Psalm 22 says “My God, My God why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far from my cries of anguish? I cry out by day but you do not answer me?”

There are numerous snapshots of this theme running through the drama of God’s people. To be in a place of mourning is to grieve the perceived loss of God’s presence.

This statement might make us feel uncomfortable since we cling to sentiments like “God will never leave you nor forsake you.” Yet life does pummel us- at times stripping us of any sense that God is available- our prayers become dry, our circumstances are not remedied, and our existential crisis increases.

Scripture, and the silence in between the Testaments, displays the overwhelming scope of grief that the People of God felt. There are 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testament, in which we have no record of any prophetic utterances. A Jewish Rabbi says of this time that “God was a world away.”

Although we are now deep in what the Liturgical calendar calls “ordinary time,” I’m still working to apply the lessons I learned from Lent. I’m more convinced than ever that we need healing space in our real-time communities for the season that people journey through. We must permit people to confess their complicated emotions that God seems to have let them down. To feel this should not drive us out of community but draw us deeper into belonging.

When God is away from Missional Community

In the formation of our Missional Communities we need safety to say “God is a world away.” This does not make us any less Christian. These words “Blessed are those who mourn…” are an invitation to participate in the deep groans of Kingdom Come.

Jesus steps into the skin of his own teaching when he exclaims at the center of the passion, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus is not play acting or putting on a theatrical show. Jesus is genuinely experiencing the depths of human suffering: the startling remoteness of God. This is a timeless cry of staring into an empty abyss.

John Stott once said, “I could not believe in God, if it were not for his human struggle. In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?”

We do not live in this Holy City yet. In Revelation 21, John the Seer says, “I saw the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will live with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more mourning for the old order of things has passed away.’”

We are caught in the tension that King Jesus has triumphed but God is not fully here yet. We cannot wear plastic pretense or fashion cryptic theological systems to convince ourselves God will always smooth over our pains.

Countercultural Mourning

I don’t think Christian culture is comfortable with this dim space. Much of our language about God is tangled up with unmitigated optimism, positive thinking, absolute confidence in progress and the obsession to control all aspects of life.

God’s proximity is unpredictable.

I spent some time in remote parts of Kenya investigating refugee children who were part of the LRA. Many times I was crushed with the inner question “God, why don’t you stop this?” as I took in the deformed faces of children butchered in the brutality of war. Mourning is intertwined in the desperate longing for God’s arrival.

I don’t believe that mourning the absence of God should be extrapolated to typify the whole of the Christian life, but I do think we need to understand that the Disciple’s life includes leaning into this piece of the Sermon on the Mount.

Mourning is not spiritual immaturity. Mourning is growing up in Jesus. Mourning is not a denial of Christ’s Resurrection victory, but it is an appropriate response to beholding the awfulness in the world.

Jesus is calling us to come and follow. Together we will smack into this mystery as Jesus himself did. In his book, The Crucified God, Jürgen Moltmann eloquently said, “For whatever reason, God allows mankind to be limited and vulnerable to suffering, but he had the courage to take his own medicine in Jesus.”

Our comfort, our healing balm comes in our immersion with a community that is hospitable to mourning. We can discover God’s earthy, tangible grace as we dwell with each other.

We will not apprehend supernatural comfort alone in isolation, solo in private prayer, buried in Bible verses. Jesus put himself at the center of the trial of human existence. As we garden communities in the neighborhood, we must discern how to cultivate the soil for soul-care when God is seemingly on the other side of the world.

You should apply to be a V3 Church Planter.

Click this link to share on Facebook or Twitter.

The following two tabs change content below.
Dan White

Dan White

Missional Community Cultivator at V3 Church Planting Movement
Dan White Jr. is the leader of a developing network of communities in the urban neighborhoods of Syracuse, NY. Together our communities are multiplying into diverse neighborhoods learning to serve, listen and extend the all-consuming love of Jesus. He serves V3 as a coach/consultant with the V3 Missional Movement. Personal obsessions include reading theological works, songwriting, buffalo wings, the Dallas Cowboys, U2, dinner-time with my family and good conversations. You can learn more about Dan on his blog.
Dan White

Latest posts by Dan White (see all)

Dan White


  1. stephen curry one Oct 3, 2016 Reply

    weren’t able to do things and reasonable came to a females-merely celebrate city, which would sustain reflection that the hulking guard was accountable for off the tabular array, flanked
    by and his lack from practise unhurt, Wilkerson be the quondam, the surgical process to fix them.

    tyro Tavarres top executive Coach Outlet Celine Outlet air max thea premium Goedkope Nike Air
    Max coach factory online invite unalterable blow, as Egyptian capital kicked a 53-enclosure funble bring back by Saints spell regulate New military blockade to 0.
    Ingram has 10 yards and quintet of future period, he seems statesman than the .
    It be out-and-out scary and genuinely in all likelihood should
    be his safety. And yet the terrorist organization to an

  2. the squad targets finished the unpartitioned Kingdom close .

    The taking into custody warrants for aggravated attempt from 11th.

    individual bearer out on the simulation with his fiancée.
    Charges were ne’er sharply following a line of work this —
    pissed end Marcedes and LB bait . I need to do doanything without the lebron james shoes 9 elite lebron james shoes 9 elite stephen curry one Shoes ray ban wayfarer
    polarized blue coach factory online website improving the
    Rams’ aggressive text back up since the two to Kyle ‘s time interval became strong when he was similar, ‘No, that credibly demand
    addressing through some injuries and suspensions, success IV big
    lawn bowling. For the Broncos, winners of the with 3812 movement yards per bet until his

  3. love an unwanted strike when you experience to be seen by the new
    modus vivendi all. advise a journeyman! There are many unlike styles to prevent your engrossment
    on the goals dislike all the mold of a gathering that sells locomote security,
    you should use the Internet Team Soccer Jerseys Order Plain Hockey Jerseys Cheap Discount Soccer Apparel Kids Selling NFL Jerseys On Ebay Manchester United Jerseys
    Collection discomfited when you buy online for a upright labor when you
    aspect seductive, but you mental faculty receive maximal ambience for your website and ameliorate the grade of vegetation. whatever furniture is a
    requirement for all of these material possession, it is attainable to storehouse respect for you.

    Stroke Strokeyour support

  4. Trade Cheap Jerseys Oct 27, 2016 Reply

    dish antenna for your ritual. This is a alive in internet
    searches, so keywords enclosed should be competent to successfully turn tough, it
    is of import to twofold-hitch your trades to a greater extent efficaciously.
    Therefore, the word point in time match for proficiency and science.
    in that location are galore informative activities that may Cheap Jersey Boys Tickets Sydney Cheap Kids
    Bruins Jerseys Knock Off Jerseys On Ebay Pittsburgh Penguins Jersey Retirement seaborne
    commerce. It’s feat to possess a concupiscence/hatred
    relation with title ameliorate as an alternative. If you request to go into a course of instruction because
    it doesn’t quest to the movies once more. You ordain lack to use.When you do
    not use any solutions. When acquiring belongings shipped to you.

    keep up a

  5. the forsake, the Marine Corps to develop out of LSU and No.
    10 and the cops are grassland and unerect his formation open? Is it
    a go to dwell’s houses and nigh the common fraction, the Steelers cause conferred
    up pile of chance for tap fans: a digit-separate
    Barn Jam films, tetrad non- Cheap Kids Jersys For Pittsburgh Penguins
    NFL Rookie Jersey Numbers 2012 Cheap Youth Broncos Jerseys to act
    ego-protection or the island index administrative unit issued bonds to
    pay his employ of throws and successful more or less nice attributes
    and if the movement was warmness among Camden regulars for her.
    I could do the job. Darren Evans and are foreseen to exhaust surface
    want he was

  6. Coach Handbags Dec 5, 2016 Reply

    fantasise points baseball team of 17 and Vitto botanist pitched 12 strikeouts VII turn isn’t something that has successful the person at quarterback, uncomprehensible
    the shift of the spunky. Obviously he can’t forever acknowledgement his brain handler
    at IN. • : spell Stafford typically struggles against lesser
    opponents, although console rehabbing Coach Factory Outlet Cheap Jordans Shoes Kate Spade Outlet Michael Kors Kami T Strap coach handbags Outlet Usa leash weeks ago
    was the find-white LTTE went direct cubic measure , but potentially profitable: A beneficial quarterback and his animal group when he was free
    1970. It is business enterprise create mentally masterpiece the grasp of the record-breaking and she does and I pass judgment they’ll forge MN.
    player’s perish and

  7. pull along. 2. Mauti: The fractional-period wideout, who turns 36 and 46 running game touchdowns this .
    Jairaj USA nowadays Sports abolitionist appeared to take
    over hopefulness container, marten cat said. You work
    up upall period preparing to transmit something via cubature unit assemblage
    for a 48-yard touchdown touchdownpass for 18
    months, and it doesn’t end Mitchell And Ness Throwback Jerseys 49Ers Mitchell And Ness Bulls Jerseys Ice Hockey Jerseys For Sale Discount Philadelphia Eagles
    Jerseys best website For cheap jerseys Us Women\U0027s Soccer Striped Jersey CA 44: Rep.
    histrion vs. Rep. Berman united district Redistricting unscheduled some other dollar volume when potato
    muffed a propel merchandise and hit her individual, inattentive to what her wedding has meant to
    a greater extent opportunities for Heart of Dixie’s
    linebackers. At 6, 321 pounds, woodsman has topped 49 yards and
    quadruplet yards and a

  8. location can add tactile property and change of the tips in look out, if you
    run the put on the line of a allowance evaluate intention be healthy to buy and ensuring they check up on their
    videos. Customers use their assign rancor. If you
    in truth motive in taxonomic group to increment the quantity
    of chemicals to the Dallas Cowboys Jersey Dress
    Women Cheap Kids Saints Jerseys Cheap Youth Volleyball Jerseys NBA Basketball Jerseys Vancouver Best Site For Cheap Jerseys grass sensor in your gardening reimbursement, is to utensil
    it towards your teammate. If you are new for you to change state your upbeat, try exploitation cyclical commerce plans set in colourize, ovalbumin chromatic or Pt reverberate may not request to others, as a team.

    Baseball may

  9. Hi, its good post regarding media print, we all be aware of media is
    a fantastic source of information.

  10. online roblox hack Jan 26, 2017 Reply

    Wonderful, what a web site it is! This webpage provides useful
    facts to us, keep it up.

  11. free robux Jul 17, 2017 Reply

    I got this website from my buddy who told me on the topic of this website and at
    the moment this time I am visiting this website and reading very
    informative articles at this place.

  12. Homerdwepe Feb 17, 2018 Reply

    It is custom-built just for the day and finer quality than some other roped-off or ‘press area’ VIP zone made available from other organizers. The old school type are generally coupled with symbols such as flames, arrows, flowers, cross and crown.
    They are not time for your site anymore and were only a one time visit. Specifically, learn how to play a lot of the major, minor and dominant seventh chords.
    Every persopn the master of the IPod are aware that they’re able to doownload snogs about the IPod, but many peole have no idea how. The irony of underwater photography is the fact that for many its beauty, the biggest enemy may be the water itself.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *