BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED.
MOURN : 3996 penthéō – properly, grieve over a death; (figuratively) to grieve over a personal hope (relationship) that dies, i.e. comes to divine closure (“ends“). “Mourn over a death” refers to “manifested grief” (WS, 360) – so severe it takes possession of a person and cannot be hid. (This is the same meaning of 3996 /penthéō throughout antiquity, cf. LS, R. Trench, Synonyms.)
Signifying grief manifested; too deep for concealment. Hence it is often joined with κλαίειν, to weep audibly.
While today’s video indicates one view – that this mourning refers to mourning over our personal sin – all commentators do not limit the usage this way. So, too, I believe mourning to have a more inclusive application.
Of course to see the word Mourn today, in America, one’s first thought is Charleston. The people of that church, that city, that State are mourning. We as a nation and as the Body of Christ mourn with them and for them. It is our freshest example of manifest grief joined with tears.
Our hearts are broken for so many reasons. Senseless violence – Devastated families -Good people gone too soon -A boy so misguided (the same age as my own grandson) – The ugly reality, we as a nation harbor racism deep within our DNA -The uncomfortable and unavoidable truth that as white people we are infected and carriers of this deadly disease. We must and do weep. The burden of sin is so great.
Jesus offers comfort for mourners. Of course there will be comfort when His Kingdom is fulfilled, on earth as it is in heaven. But right now, we, individually and corporately, only have two choices for comfort in the moment of our grieving.
Like the surgeon treating a body riddled with cancer, we can look deep into the incision and determine there is no hope. Sew them up and say try to live the best you can. We are powerless.
Or the other choice? Radiation by the Comforter himself. Tattoo the spot. Target the adversary. Eradicate the enemy. It will hurt before it gets better but He is powerful.
All mourning will lead us to Jesus. Maybe we go in anger or pain or fury or despair but He is both a precise surgeon and tender comforter.
Today I have signed the consent forms for a radical removal of racism and prejudice. I have no idea how deep it runs. I have only recently come to know it was there. It’s deadly so it’s got to go.
I plan to be a survivor and an advocate for healing. It’s time people – it’s past time.