Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (December 26, 2022)

I hope everyone had a very happy holiday! This past weekend was the weekend that we traditionally focus upon the birth of Christ in Bethlehem, and the holiday is supposed to be a time of sweet family fellowship and and reflection reflection.

While this season is supposed to be a time of great joy, it can also be a time of great grief for those who have lost loved ones. How can we deal with grief in times like this? Sorrow can steal our joy if we let it! So how is the child of God to deal with grief? Are we supposed to just stoically bear it? Or is there something more we can look for?

In the article below, Elder Michael Ivey deals with the issue of grief by taking us to the account of Lazarus in John 11. I hope you are encouraged, as I was, by the practical thoughts Bro. Mike shares about grieving in a godly way. I certainly hope that during this holiday season you will be encouraged even in the face of the loss of loved ones.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer!

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor

Godly Grieving

by Elder Michael Ivey

“Jesus wept“

…. and then …..

Jesus wept when he arrived at the tomb of his dear friend, Lazarus. Those who witnessed Jesus’ grief marveled and remarked what great love he had for his dead friend. The gospel narrative indicates Lazarus’ two sisters, Mary and Martha also grieved, no doubt as did the others gathered at Lazarus’ tomb.

….. and then .….

Jesus did something truly amazing. He raised Lazarus from the dead! Never before had one been brought back to this life, returned to loved ones as Jesus did for Lazarus. No doubt grief and sorrowing immediately turned to joy and rejoicing!

Jesus did even more when he raised Lazarus. He gave believers the example for godly grieving. Jesus personally sorrowed for his friend and then he did what he could to help others, especially those who like him, grieved the death of Lazarus. Since he had power to raise the dead, that’s what Jesus did. He restored Lazarus’ life and returned him to his loved ones; and thereby relieved their sorrow and pain.

Here then is the lesson: Godly grieving allows us to sorrow and be sad. However, sorrowing is not an end to itself. Its pain is not something we must stoically endure until it fades and finally goes away. The sadness, pain, and sense of loss we feel are all part of grieving, but they are not the whole of the matter.

Godly grief considers the sorrow of others. It gives rise to compassion to do whatever we can to help others who are sad and/or struggling. When we do this God lifts up and comforts our wounded souls and comforts our hurting hearts. He gives us occasion to be thankful and to rejoice that we are able to help another. He also provides a way of comfort and consoling through our efforts for those to whom we minister.