Thursday, March 26, 2015

Weeping while the world rejoices

I read a verse this morning that has just stuck with me and I can't shake it.  It describes so much of what goes on in our world.

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice.  You will be sorrowful but your sorrow will turn into joy. (John 16.20)

You think about the world around us.  You think about how it rejoices over things that should bring tears.  The World Politic is fodder for late night comedians instead of the cause of weeping (and, as Christians, are we laughing along with them?).  Offhand and off-color jokes get forwarded not just to email accounts, but through them.  Cultural norms and ethics crumble while the world throws a party.

In the midst of this, I'm challenged two ways:

1.  To stay sad - my mentor at seminary used to tell me to be shocked by nothing and saddened by everything.  That's a tough balance.  Losing sadness means I'm writing people off.  I don't want to be guilty of that.

2.  Don't rejoice with them - there are some things that are funny.  Jimmy Fallon is one of them.  There are other things that are not.  Either way, there ought to linger in the atmosphere of our souls the tinge of sadness that things aren't supposed to be this way.  To do otherwise is to misspend our joy.

And the true, real, lasting joy is coming:  "But your sorrow will turn into joy."

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