Sunday night I couldn’t sleep. My mind was full of pictures of another community grieving, angry, and shocked. Once again I heard calls for peace in the face of riot batons. Pictures of a mother wrapped in a blanket not leaving the street where her son died, tear gas and tears, images of pain that would not leave my mind. “How long, O Lord?’ 

As I sat looking out into the night, holding the tension of the beauty of tree branches reaching up into the night sky, the frog song from the nearby wetland, and the knowledge of the deep grief and communal trauma happening just a few towns away, the words from Romans 12 bubbled up from my heart:

Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

We are called to enter into both the joy and pain of our neighbors. This is both a deep blessing and a deep challenge. We are not called to police the feelings of others, or ask them to express them in more palatable ways. We are simply called to enter in. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 

Entering into the human experience of others is hard, painful, and sometimes convicting. Sometimes it feels like a lot just to enter into our own human feelings. And yet, isn’t that what Jesus did? God came in the form of flesh and bone, feelings and experiences to be “God with us.” With us in our suffering. With us in our pain. With us in our joy. With us in our love. With us as we work for the kingdom of God here and now. 

Look around you today. Who needs a reminder that they are not alone? Who needs you to rejoice with them? Weep with them? Friends in Christ, as we continue to celebrate the resurrection, let us trust that God continues to weep and rejoice with us even as God continues to make all things new. 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Let us pray: 
Good and Gracious God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith in you and receive the fullness of Christ’s blessing, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.