Thursday, April 21, 2011

Learn, Lead and Live

“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4)
It’s been a really confronting time for Christians as we have watched, and for some of us, been embroiled, in the natural disasters that the world has experienced in the first few months of the year.  We watch the suffering, we feel the pain, and see great mourning come from these situations.  We wonder what God is doing in and through these events?

Recently the team at Willow Creek has been spending time each week reflecting on Jesus’ teaching in the beatitudes.  Beatitude is the blending of two words – “beati”, meaning supreme happiness, or extreme joy and “tude”, meaning a state of being. 
It appears on the surface a contradiction when Jesus says, “be in a state of great joy when you mourn”.  When we read these words we naturally link mourning to bereavement around the loss of someone we love.  But this verse doesn’t make sense if we apply that understanding to it.  When Jesus talks of mourning here, he is referring to grief that comes when we understand how sin has broken our relationship with God.  Our sin breaks God’s heart and therefore breaks ours as well when we fully understand how it affects God, our creator. 
As we approach Easter, our prayer at Willow is that people in your church and ministry will be blessed as they mourn over their sin and the sin of others that drove Jesus to the cross, so that through his death our sin could be forgiven, and through his resurrection, we may have life, and a blessed life!
Andrew McCafferty
CEO Willow Creek Australia