Theme of the Week: What is a Christian? The Christian Character
Bible Verse: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 CSB
Scripture Reading: James 4:9-10
As Jesus spoke these words to the crowd from the top of the mountain, it is reasonable to assume that many of them, both men and women, were already used to mourning. And with good reason, since they were listening to Jesus’ famous sermon at a somewhat troubled time in their history.
Being descendants of Israelite survivors defeated by the king of Babylon centuries ago, they lost much. They were only a shadow of their former self. They were no longer masters in their own home, as they were now under Roman occupation. They no longer had an army to protect them from their oppressors. The country’s dominant language was no longer their own but rather that of the Greek majority. And, as if that were not enough, the heroes of faith spoken of in their sacred texts were no longer.
Yes, their years of glory were well behind them, it seemed.
They had reason to be sorrowful and to mourn the losses they incurred over the years. But what should have grieved them even more was the fact that their ancestors had strayed from the path that God had laid out for them. And this was the mourning to which Jesus invited them. They had forsaken their Savior and suffered painful consequences.
Can you relate to their situation? You may have already experienced sadness over the loss of something that was valuable to you: reputation, status, privilege, opportunities. But the sorrow that pleases God and which opens up in our hearts a way back to the path of life, is that of repentance.
There is great cause for rejoicing when a repentant sinner turns away from his sins, for God is always ready to comfort him.
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