Blessed are those who mourn

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.– Jesus

In the last year pandemic-related anti-AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) rhetoric and actions have been both documented and disheartening. In the wake of the tragic gun violence in Atlanta targeting Asian Americans, we mourn. 

Homicide in Colorado is up nearly 30% over the last year. This increase is heartbreaking and deeply concerning. The shooting Boulder yesterday reminds us that peace of Christ that we pray for ever Sunday is far from established.

We mourn the loss of life. We mourn the racism, sexism, sexualization, mental illness, and other things that leads to these kinds of attacks. We mourn the misuse of guns for murder and harm. We mourn the brokenness and pain that lead to acts of violence. We mourn with our parishioners, staff, and neighbors who are mistreated because of their ethnicity or nationality. We mourn with those who are scared to go to work or the grocery store today because of the violence in Boulder yesterday.

You might be feeling the strong urge that I often feel when bad things happen: rush to explain, rush to solve. I’m not sure where this comes from, but I for one feel obligated to make sense of and to sort out the hateful actions of others. I feel an urge to try and solve the problem, find a solution, fix the brokenness. 

Yet, the posture of Jesus often appears to be one of joining, not solving. Yes, I believe he has orchestrated a grand and overarching solution to the ills of the world, and sometimes, often through miracles, he met an immediate need. But throughout his teachings and the teachings of his followers, we see a strong value of lament and joining people in their pain. It gives us permission to be sad without solving.

I hope our church will always move toward both systemic and specific change in our community. I’ve seen our church pursue that and I hope we don’t stop. I also hope we continue to pause and lament when there is sadness and brokenness. 

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. 

If you ever need someone to talk to about the pain you’re feeling, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I and others in our church would love to be there for you to support you, pray for you, and listen to you. You can reach out to me directly through email or you can submit a prayer or support request to me and our team of elders using this form.