Thursday, May 11, 2017

like those who have no hope

Our buddy St Basil is back today, telling us about grief in A Year with the Church Fathers.

He tells us that it's natural, of course, to grieve when we lose someone. He's counseling a church which had recently lost its pastor. But that once the natural grief has passed, we need to rise up above our emotions and move on to doing what God is calling us to.

When we lose someone close to us, it's easy to fall into a grief that consumes us. It can even feel like a betrayal to their memory if we move on. That we need to keep grieving for the rest of our lives. But God lets us know, through St Basil, that that's not what He wants. He wants us to keep our focus on Him. When the man said he would follow Jesus after he buried his father, and Jesus said, "Let the dead bury their dead," He wasn't being mean or saying that grief is inappropriate. He was saying that He must always be first, before all else.

This is an important thing for us to realize, my friends. Because we're all very closely connected now. The internet, especially Facebook, has brought all of us very close together. And our parents and family are going to start getting sick, and they will pass away. We will grieve. And then as our classmates and friends start to come to the end, we will grieve then, too. But God doesn't want us to come to that time unprepared. And He doesn't want us to be consumed by that grief.

So let's focus on the joy that awaits us. Let's look ahead to the happpiness that we can't fathom. Let's set our sights on our Lord and Savior, Who is far greater than anything else we could want.

God, please help us to grieve, and then move on, to the joy You prepare for us.