“weep with those who weep.”
Romans 12:15b

A grocery store in New York, a church in California, and a school in Texas are everyday places, but in the past weeks, they have become places of grief. Unfortunately, these are just the latest griefs highlighted in our news feeds.

How do we respond as Christians to these and the nearer tragedies and sorrows of life?

Today, let’s begin with Paul’s advice to weep with those who weep. He echoes Ecclesiastes 3, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:… a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”. This is certainly a time to weep and a time to mourn. This simple charge to be present with people, acknowledging the real experiences of life, frees us from false hopes, uninformed explanations, or pious platitudes.

In the midst of exhorting Christians to lovingly care for one another, enter into humble relationships as peacemaking servants in the world, and overcome its evils by doing the good, he tells us to weep. We commingle our tears with the tears of those who suffer, lament, and weep. In a culture that prizes action and is eager to move forward with explanations, solutions, and distractions, how powerful is this message to pause out of love and weep with those who weep.

As Christians, weeping isn’t the last thing we do with those who mourn, but today it is the right place to begin.

God of Compassion,
Each of us feels the sorrows of these recent events, world crises, and local tragedies in different ways, but none of us is spared their horrors. Comfort us by your Spirit with the hope you alone offer. Help us to weep with those who weep and in so doing bring the love of Christ into these places of grief. We ask and do these things by your Spirit, Amen