Friday, February 24, 2012

Joy and Grief

Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast.’

John's disciples have a genuine question for Jesus about fasting, which is a routine part of their faith practice.  Jesus' reply says there is a season for joy and there is a season for fasting.  We are to practice what is in season.

Jesus' foretells His coming passion and death that will cause so much grief for His followers.  But it has a wider application, shedding light on grief and joy and what to do with them.  The human condition by definition includes the wide range of emotional experiences from grief to joy.  Jesus gives permission to enter into both of these emotions when they are in season.  This is not a contradiction.  In fact it is part of the very fullness of life that Jesus brings. 

Today is my thirty-third wedding anniversary,  a cause of great joy.  Yesterday I heard a doctor tell my mother she had cancer, a cause of great grief.

We weep when our loved ones weep and rejoice when they are joyful.  What allows us to be free to do this is our firm faith in the promises of God made visible in Jesus.  The grief and even the joy is not the final word on our human experience.  The final word is the promise Jesus made when He said He has prepared a home for us where we can be with Him forever. That puts everything into its right perspective.  Today I can enter the joy and the grief knowing that all will be well.

Lord Jesus, both joy and grief were part of Your human experience.  This means they are sanctified by You.  Thank you Lord that I can find You where ever my emotions may lead me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

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