Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Scripture: Matthew 5:4 – the second Beatitude
Props: something you have that someone else gave you as a gesture of comfort
This morning we are continuing to study the Beatitudes, what Jesus said at the Sermon on the Mount. Today’s focus is on this sentence: Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
What does “mourn” mean? Sad, someone died, someone lost something important
What does is look like when we see someone mourning? Crying, falling to the ground, wearing black
And we see and read right here that Jesus said that those who mourn will be comforted. Now, I’m a linguist, and that’s about the highest kind of English grammar teacher. And, like a lot of sentences in the Bible and many other books, when I read today’s beatitude, my brain fills in some gaps. Here’s what my linguist brain reads:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted BY WHOM? Someone had to do the comforting, right?
Let me tell you about this blanket I brought with me today. It’s not actually a blanket but a prayer shawl, my Nannie’s prayer shawl. You see, there’s a group of ladies who love to knit and they love to pray, and many years ago, they started to pray comfort and peace and help into every stitch they knit. And then they gave the prayer shawls to ministers and doctors and caregivers to give to people who had broken bones or really bad illnesses in the hospital or at home. These knitting ladies don’t know who will get the shawl and their prayers; all they need to know is what Jesus promises in today’s scripture: that someone is mourning and deserves comfort.
And when my Nannie put this shawl around her shoulders (demonstrate with your own shawl), she could hug herself and it was like getting a hug from God and Jesus and wonderful people who cared that she needed help not being so sad anymore.
Now when you see someone mourning – who is crying or sad or hurt – who is here to give them comfort like a hug? God – yes, God gives us comfort, but does he have arms? Jesus – oh, definitely, but he’s not here on earth anymore. Who did Jesus leave to keep giving out hugs? US! Yes, US! We are all part of this one sentence in the Bible – whether we are the sad person who needs comfort or the person sees a need and gives a hug or prayer for comfort.
I’ll ask you to pray with me and think – believe – that someone here in the church today is sad and probably needs some comfort:
Dear God, Thank you for reminding us to look for and see who needs comfort. We will hug the people we can read and ask you to send hugs to the ones we can’t reach with our arms. And we ask you to bless us when we are sad and lost with hugs and prayers of comfort. Amen.
Children’s Sermon delivered at Palmetto Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC, on Sunday, February 5, 2017.