Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

I just got back from a family reunion. A good time was had by all. Ukuleles were strummed. Songs were sung. Card games broke out. It was a blast.

On Sunday, we had a worship service. My cousin, Dr. Matt Vos shared a talk that he gave at a Sociology conference a while back that was about mourning. If you knew my cousin, you would kind of chuckle at the idea of this guy talking about mourning because he’s a really funny guy who is constantly cracking jokes and cracking everybody up. He talk revealed a deep sense of mourning that he has over the brokenness in our world. As a Sociologist, he is constantly observing and criticizing the broken systems and patterns in the world. He shared in his talk that mourning is actually an act of faith. It’s an acknowledgment that things are not what they should be and that there is a God who is there to hear our cries. He shared the story of being in an eastern European orphanage and seeing the infants in their cribs eerily quiet; they didn’t cry because they had not been taught that their cries would be heard. Jesus said,

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Those who mourn acknowledge that God is good, His creation is broken, and He will hear our cries and respond to comfort. He has not left us as orphans, but He has called us sons and daughters.

A family reunion is a good time because it gives you a sense of who you are and where you came from. Total strangers embrace as if they are old friends because they are cousins, aunts, uncles, or even 2nd cousins. A bonus for our family is to see the adopted kids who have been grafted into the Ward tribe. They were once forgotten and neglected and now they are made into family. We had hoped to add to the party with an announcement that we had been selected to adopt, but it didn’t happen for us this time around. Still, we had fun knowing that we were loved, not only by a group of distant relatives, but also by the faithful Father who adopted us by sacrificing His only begotten Son.

Psalm 116:1-7
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came upon me;
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.

Then I called on the name of the LORD :
“O LORD, save me!”

The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.

The LORD protects the simplehearted;
when I was in great need, he saved me.

Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.

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  1. #1 by worship360 on July 21, 2010 - 7:43 am

    Kirk, it was great to hang out with you and your family. Also really enjoyed leading the family in worship along with you and Unca Jim. Holding onto Psalm 68 for you and your future child…

    Sing to God, sing praise to his name,
    extol him who rides on the clouds [a]—
    his name is the LORD—
    and rejoice before him.

    5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling.

    6 God sets the lonely in families, [b]
    he leads forth the prisoners with singing…

    I’m learning that “the lonely” is just as much me as it is my kids. I am just as much a prisoner than others at times. God has put me in the Ward family and has set me free so I can do that too. Let’s make sure to get our families together before another decade passes, eh?

  2. #2 by Dad on July 23, 2010 - 7:30 am

    Pictured above, from left,with ukes:
    Kirk Ward, grandson of Samuel, son of Jim
    Isaac Ward, grandson,cousin of Kirk
    Samuel Ward, grandfather of Kirk, greatgrandfather of Samuel Paul
    S. Keith Ward, son of Sam(uel), uncle of Kirk

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