june 17

Blessed are Those Who Mourn

By: Pastor Dennis Yim

Key Passage: Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Our world is in chaos. There seems to be an unending and relentless number of stories of

senseless murders. A week ago, Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree; it looked like a

lynching. A few days ago, a black female activist Oluwatoyin Salau was missing, but then found

dead in Tallahassee Florida; they also found Victoria Sims’s body, an AARP volunteer, as well.

Not too long ago, Breonna Taylor’s incident report was released to the public, it was essentially

blank; for the list of her injuries it was recorded as “none” even though she was shot eight

times and died on her hallway floor. Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot and killed by police

officers at a Wendy’s drive-thru; he was sleeping in his vehicle because he was exhausted and

needed to rest; the medical examiner listed Brooks’ death as a homicide.

I’m not here to provoke anyone. No, not at all. Rather, what Jesus would want us to us to do is

be like Him. He would want us to mourn for these men and women’s death. He wouldn’t want

us to second guess their innocence – because in our secular society it deems only the

“innocent” who have the right to live. Jesus would want us to feel the weight of a life being

taken away. Jesus would want us to feel the raw emotions of a person who’s made in the image

of God being shot to death. Jesus would want us to respond appropriately whether it be in

anger or in mourning. Jesus does not want us to be stoic and sit on our pious high-tower and

say, “It is what it is.” Rather, Jesus calls us to stand and embrace with the community that has

longed after justice for centuries, He calls us to stand in solidarity with the community that has

been dehumanized by the system that favors certain people groups over them. To mourn is to

feel the weight of sin – not simply personal, but its effects on all of creation and the human


If we don’t mourn because of the sins of this world and how it affects all of God’s creation, then

we must ask Him to tear out our callous hearts so that we may respond in a manner that

reflects His loving and gracious heart. I find that many Christians have tried to justify these

killings and have come out as insensitive bigots who have no problem with fellow image

bearers of God being systematically murdered. It’s sad, that Christians have either placed their

allegiance to the right or the left; but our allegiance should be in the King Jesus Christ alone.

Our callous hearts reveal who we truly worship and love. If we love Christ and worship Him as

our ultimate King, then it’s not an option to whether or not we should mourn with the families

of Fuller, Taylor, Brooks, and more. Rather, it becomes our natural response because the

entrance death in God’s created world was the result of Adam’s disobedience – and that itself

ruined everything.

So how can we mourn if none of these things presses our hearts to respond? Pray. Pray

intensely and personally. Ask the Lord to help you to see how your own sins actually

dehumanizes yourself and also those around you. Sin is not only personal, it is communal. Sin

doesn’t only affect our hearts, it also effects the hearts of others and the also the very

shalomic, Spirit-centered, ecosystem of the community. When we begin to see the depth of

how despicable and destructive our sins are in Christ, that Christ has already begun the process

of lovingly ripping out the callousness of our hearts so that we may respond appropriately to

the dire effects of sin in this world. Jesus wept with Mary (Lazarus’s sister). Jesus wept on the

cross for sinners like us who unjustly crucified Him. In our union with Christ, He has given us

grace and mercy so that we may mourn with those who mourn, and He turns our mourning into

merciful action that brings justice and shalom to the mourning. May Christ lead us to mourn

well with Him and others, knowing that one day He will make all things right and comfort us in

His perfect and holy Kingdom.