Daily Devotion: Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

The Beatitudes run counter to the ways of the world. In the world, the “happy” are blessed. I put “happy” in quotations because happiness is fleeting—that is, it changes based on the circumstances, which is no more consistent than the direction the wind blows. Acquire wealth, the world says, and you shall be happy and blessed. Yet people with wealth only want more wealth; it can never satisfy.

The Beatitudes also fundamentally describe the life of the child of God. God’s modus operandi is the reversal of natural things; we call these miracles. Naturally, those who do not mourn are “blessed” because, quite frankly, they’re not sad and grieving, which is the preferred state, of course. However, God utterly reverses this. In Christ, those who mourn are blessed. Why is this?

First and foremost, because these children of God can come to Christ to receive comfort and rest (Matthew 11:28-30); and second, because Christians grieve in a church community. When a sister in Christ becomes a widow, we mourn the death of her husband with her. We cry with her, pray with her, comfort her, and provide for her. When parents experience the unexpected death of a child, we cry with them, pray with them, and comfort them. Those who mourn are blessed because they receive a double comfort: the comfort of Christ Himself in Word and Sacrament and the comfort of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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