Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

Jesus – Grieving loss

John11v33-35 [When Mary’s brother Lazarus had died] “When Jesus saw her weeping … he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled … Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him.’”

Many of you will have seen at least portions of the funeral of Prince Philip last Saturday, and the Queen and her family currently remain in mourning. At some time, death takes those around us and ultimately (in worldly terms) it takes ourselves too. Grieving is itself quite a process and takes time. It is often said that there are multiple stages of grief, manifesting differently for each person, but including: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

Jesus knew what it was to lose people close to him to death. It is generally considered that his step-father Joseph died while Jesus was relatively young, and in John’s gospel we have the account of the death of Lazarus. The quotation above is from when Jesus meets Mary the sister of Lazarus. Jesus does not just suffer himself, but he also comes alongside others in their suffering and weeps with them.

The Queen is not the only one mourning at this time. Day by day, many are dying. May Jesus reach out to each one at this time and may they know his love and sympathy. Very often that occurs through us who are His representatives.

Of course, for us who are believers, while death represents a loss for those who remain, it represents an advance for those who believe. It was this understanding that meant Paul could say “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1v21 or again, “Where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15v55.

We are thankful for the Queen’s faith and ask Lord that you would be close to the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family at this time; may each of them truly know you Lord. We ask the same for those known personally to us who are grieving at the moment.

With love and blessing,