Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In Romans it says, “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep”. As someone who has faced death and has experience in walking through grief with many who have lost their loved ones, I have learned a thing or two along the way about how to weep with those who weep. One thing I have heard is how unhelpful some things well-intentioned people say to those who are grieving. As we seek to comfort the mourning, may we recall these unhelpful things and what to say instead. Don’t ask “How are you doing”? instead say “It’s tough right now”. Don’t say, “They’re in a better place” instead say, “I’m sorry you’re suffering”. Don’t say, “I know how you feel”. Instead say, “I can imagine how you’re feeling”. Don’t say “This happens to all of us eventually”. Instead say, “You must really miss them”. Don’t say “You’re handling this better than I expected”. Instead say, “You might not be feeling great, but that’s ok”. It’s also appropriate to often say nothing and just be there to offer hugs or a shoulder to cry on. Most importantly, is to remember that when we weep with those who are weeping, we must work out our own discomfort with grief first. Often the reason we say things that are unhelpful is because we are uncomfortable with grief. Working out our own discomfort helps us mourn well with those who are mourning.
Every week as we come together for worship, we have the opportunity to rejoice with those rejoicing and mourn with those who are mourning. This week on Saturday we will mourn with the Cole family on the loss of Horace. On Sunday we will both mourn and rejoice as we come together to worship on Independence Day. As part this Sunday’s worship we will be partaking in the Lord’s supper and I would invite you to do as we have been doing, by bringing along your communion elements to your worship space. For those worshiping in person we do have self-contained communion elements for visitors and those who forget. May we gather this week to rejoice and mourn as we seek to be the disciples we are called to be.
In His Peace,
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