May 7, 2020
by Rev. Natalie Justice
Smyth County Circuit
Clinch Mountain District
Grief. We are all facing it in some form even today. With the Coronavirus, our world has changed dramatically. Many have lost their jobs. High School and College students are unable to have graduation commencement ceremonies. Walmart is now limiting how many people are going into the store. People are wearing masks and gloves. We are not able to go into the restaurants we love to eat. We are not able to go to our favorite hair salon or barber to get a haircut. So many things have changed. One of the biggest things for believers is we cannot worship together in our church buildings. We are also seeing this affect our loved ones health. Many of you who are reading this may know of a friend or a family member who is sick right now. Many of you who are reading this may have a family member who works in the health field, and you are worried about their health during this time. The world has change dramatically. We are all grieving. But what we may forget during this time is that Jesus is grieving with us.
John 11 is a wonderful piece in the bible that tells the story of the death of Lazarus. Throughout the scriptures we see Mary and Martha expressing their grief. Both turning to Jesus at different points and basically saying, “Where were you! We needed you and you were not here.” The crowds were heartbroken and grieving. The verse that sticks out to me throughout this chapter is the shortest verse in the bible, vs 35, Jesus Wept. Jesus was so moved and deeply disturbed and he began to weep. This short verse has such a powerful meaning. It is also a great reminder that Jesus grieves with us during our times of loss. Jesus is walking this journey of grief and grieving with us. Through these tough impossible times we can see God move in everyday moments. God can turn our moments of despair into times of great healing and good. God didn’t cause all of this, but God is walking this journey with us. God is walking this journey with you. God is grieving with you today. Just like Mary and Martha, when they expressed their grief to Jesus we can also express ours. God is grieving with us and will continue to walk this journey with us. We have an incredible and loving God.