Good Grief: Shared - Grief in the Story of Lazarus


“To comfort me, you have to come close. Come sit beside me on my mourning bench.” – Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son

In our Good Grief series, we've been talking through the universal experience of grieving. We all experience it, but it's definitely not uniformly experienced. Grief looks different for each of us, and we experience it in a unique way every time we walk through it. The uniqueness of our grief can often leave us feeling isolated and alone. After the loss of a loved one, some describe walking around bewildered and unsure how the rest of the world is still carrying on.

In the first week of our series, Pastor Sarah shared about a book entitled Lamet for a Son where the author, Nicholas Wolterstorff, wrote that he didn’t want clever words or well wishes after losing his son. He just wanted someone to sit with him. Presence seems to provide a healing balm for those who are in the midst of the most difficult times of grief. To comfort someone, we have to risk getting close to them, and therefore, close to their loss.

This week at First United, we hear how Jesus risked getting close to the loss of his dear friend Lazarus, and Jesus actually weeps. Oftentimes, this scripture is interpreted as Jesus’ emotions getting the best of him as he cries over the death of a friend. But, a closer read of scripture reveals that Jesus doesn’t weep until he sees Lazarus’ sisters weeping. Their loss becomes his loss, as he risks getting close to this profound grief. Jesus’ reaction has many lessons for those of us in the midst of loss and for those of us walking with others who are experiencing grief. Listen in as we take a deeper look at “Jesus wept” and learn why this little sentence can help us experience good grief.

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