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"Weep With Those Who Weep:" Christ, Still Our Example For Today [Part IV]

Last week we left you with this important question: What exactly does it mean to follow Christ’s example in responding, through action, to the needs of the bereaved?

While we humans do not have the power to resurrect another’s loved one from the dead, we can carefully assess the needs of the bereaved and through prayerful guidance respond with purposeful intent. How is responding with purposeful intent accomplished? Well, Philippians 2:3 – 7 exhorts us to do the following: “…with humility of mind regard one another as more important than [our]selves” (v.3); “[to] not merely look out for our own personal interests but also for the interests of others” (v.4); to take on the attitude of Christ Jesus “who, although He existed in the form of God…emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (v. 5 – 7).

Therefore, in order to respond to the needs of the bereaved in a meaningful way – a way that can be felt by the intended beneficiary – one must assume a posture of unwavering humility and shift to an “other-person” focused mindset.

This “other-person” focused mindset is best reflected in a quote that I recently had the occasion to read. In her book, Me & Mom & Me, Dr. Maya Angelou writes this powerful pledge of loving support: [1]

After all, James 1:27 (a) admonishes, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress…”

Therefore, “weeping with those who weep” is clearly high-ranking kingdom business. It is not just a mere option for a few who are seemingly, especially suited for such ministry work. “Bringing one’s whole self to others” is achievable by all when we are in-fact following Christ.

There is a level of perfection in the knowledge of Christ and donning His character that is required first though; and, this oftentimes is achieved through the prerequisite of suffering. As the apostle Paul declares, in Philippians 3:10, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” [i.e., being made new, perfect like Christ when he rose from the grave & ascended back to heaven]. The ability to walk alongside someone experiencing loss requires the willingness to suffer self – to don Christ-like traits and character.

“Weep[ing] with those who weep” has a literal implication of investing to such an emotional degree that you deeply feel another’s pain, yet not in a way that is immobilizing. Instead, the literal sharing of this great emotional pain ‘moves’ one – as Christ was deeply moved by Mary in John 11:33. Plainly stated, one is moved to engage in a productive effort versus merely spectating. The sharing of pain instead yields great empathy.

It is my sincere prayer that I have clearly shared the moral expectation for us to minister to the bereaved. Second, I pray it is now clear that the ability to “bring our whole self” to the service of others is achievable through spiritual and mental preparation. Therefore, in Part II of “Weep With Those Who Weep,” we will talk about the practical application of this grief-sharing ministry. In other words, I will outline the practical do’s & don’ts of ministering to the bereaved. Until then, grace and peace be unto you

PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR SEGMENT II, “Weep With Those Who Weep:” The Practical Do’s & Don’ts of Ministering to the Bereaved, as we continue this special grief series Thursday, 3.18.21…

[1] Reference to a quote by Dr. Maya Angelou from her book, Me & Mom & Me


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