The grave stone for the great uncle of Pastor David Tinker. This is located in Norwich Bridge Cemetery in Huntington, Massachusetts.
Bible Readings and Devotion for January 12, 2020
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Devotion for January 12, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
As I have gone through decades of being an adult, I have had increased exposure to the death of loved ones and friends. When someone close to our heart dies it is often more painful than we expect.
Our reading from Matthew today is one of the most familiar passages of God’s Word for many people. It is what is often referred to as the, “Beatitudes.” A beatitude is an announcement of supreme blessedness from God. Our Lord Jesus is announcing a blessing or a special gifting to his followers in the various situations noted. In times of loss we have greater comfort from the words of Jesus here. He says in verse 4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” He is saying that he blesses us with mourning and with comfort.
The blessing of mourning makes sense to me in this way. To mourn the death of a person one usually needs to have had a loving connection with the now deceased. With no connection, we would not have much reason to grieve. God loves us, and this enabled us to love and connect with others. We are blessed with the ability to love one another, and therefore, we experience grief when one of our circle of care dies.
The deeper meaning of the word comfort is often misunderstood in modern culture. We often associate it with a soft, easy chair. Historically it is about being strengthened and supported. God’s blessing to us is that he will support us as we experience grief. God’s promise is that we are not alone without support in seasons of grief. The Holy Spirit is always present for us. Our prayers can always cast the burden of grief on our Lord who cares for us. The community of faith and the love of God give us strength in times of loss.
We are blessed with love, with morning, and with God’s help when we mourn.
Eternal God, your love is stronger than death, and your passion more fierce than the grave. We rejoice in the lives of those whom you have drawn into your eternal embrace. Keep us in joyful communion with them until we join the saints of every people and nation gathered before your throne in your ceaseless praise, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen