Written by MayBell Developments – May 6th, 2021
This past weekend one of our friends and Faith & Finance students passed away. She was a beautiful soul, a mom to a 6-year-old girl, and could light up any room. In our group she always had something to add, was the first to offer to read a passage of scripture, and regularly joked about how frugal she was. Her death was a spiritual attack. She was a new follower of Jesus and Satan was fighting hard to not let her go. Addiction is a relentless and horrid attack of the devil.
It’s no secret that our world is broken. Since the fall, we have been broken when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Bible tells us our world has been given over to be reigned by the devil and his beasts for a time. It doesn’t take much to see that evil in the world around us. The glutton for materialistic things, the tendency to put ourselves ahead of others, how easily we give in to temptation. The devil is continually whispering into our minds, trying to lure us away from our hope in God.
The people touched by our dear friend are hurting. We miss her smiling face and joy for life. Our hearts are broken with sadness. We are mourning what could have been and yet joyful that she is pain-free with Jesus now.
Brokenness is all around us and yet we have hope.
There is gain in mourning. Not simply sending condolences but in deep, lamenting mourning. This is something we tend to want to resist. No one wants to feel their brokenness, to admit vulnerability, to let the grief wash over them. So we choose to run from it, cover it up, numb the pain, and/or harden our hearts. But there is value in feeling this mourning.
As we feel this deep, lamenting mourning we are drawn closer to the presence of God. The hole created in us from this mourning creates an opening for God to move in and comfort us.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort
– 2 Cor 1:3
We are drawn into God’s presence and, in his presence, true healing can begin. As we heal we become more aware of ourselves and the process that we have gone through. We are familiar with the torment of grief but also with the deep love for others that caused such grief. Out of this love we develop empathy for others in their loss and grief.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
– 2 Cor 1:3-4
For a more in-depth look at mourning, check out this sermon from Church in the City
Through our grief, we know our hope lies in Jesus. Yes, we grieve the loss of our friend; we grieve the brokenness of our world; we grieve the sins that bring more brokenness and grief to our lives. Yet we know Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross has released us from this pain. That he has overcome.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33
We find our peace in Jesus who has overcome the world.
There is an old Japanese fable about an emperor who had a beautiful pottery bowl that he was excited to show off to his friends. Two days before his company was to arrive he found that bowl broken into a hundred pieces. He grieved the bowl all night and woke in the morning to find both his son’s new golden crown and the pieces of the bowl gone.
Much to everyone’s surprise the next day the crown and the bowl had been returned to the cabinet. The crown slightly thinner and the bowl in one piece held together with glistening veins of gold. The son had given of his own power (his crown) to mend the broken.
Today Kintsukuroi, meaning “to repair with gold” in Japanese, is the art of repairing pottery with gold. It is an understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.
In our Faith & Finances class, we talk about Jesus making all things new. Jesus is the gold holding together our broken pieces of pottery, both in ourselves and in the world. Jesus is not simply making us into a new bowl but he is making us more beautiful for having been broken. Our dear friend was broken but now she is new, more beautiful, and whole with Jesus. Those who know her are broken right now but as they hold onto Jesus they will be made more beautiful through their grief.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
Join with us as we pray:
We pray for our friend as she enters your Kingdom
Thank you for your loving mercy and that she will no longer feel pain
We pray for those close to her that they may know you, that they may allow themselves to feel their grief and to be comforted and strengthened by you.
We pray for the brokenness of our world, that you would move in power to heal the hurting and draw them closer to your presence.
In Jesus’ name
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
– Lamentation 3:22-24
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