Grief is Love with no Place to Go

 

I’m borrowing some of this from Jerry Kieschnick’s weekly blog.

Someone wrote:

Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.

 

I’ve thought of death as leaving a hole in our lives.  The story of our life together stops, often ending without an ending. I walk through the cemetery and certain people are often present standing by or caring for a grave.  We run into a situation and that person isn’t present to lend an ear and offer some advice.  Though, as we confess in the Apostles Creed, we believe, “in the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting,” we simply learn to live with our grief – our love which has no place to go.

 

However, St. Paul tells us grief does have hope in Christ.  I Thess. 4:14,17, for since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep…so we will always (together) be with the Lord.

 

As LSB hymn 606 sings, “I lay my griefs on Jesus, My burden and my cares, He from them all releases; He all my sorrows shares.”

Much Ado About Wells

 

In an arid climate wells were a matter of life and death.  In the case of Abraham’s son Isaac and Isaac’s son Jacob a well was the place to meet prospective wives.

With the blessing of the Lord Isaac, “gained more and more until he became very wealthy (Genesis 26:12).”  Out of envy his neighbors, the Philistines. filled up the wells dug by Abraham’s servants.  So, Isaac moved on and dug out some other wells that the Philistines had filled in after Abraham died.  However, rival herdsman claimed these wells for themselves.  Ok, so Isaac dug another well elsewhere, but again the Philistines claimed it as well.  Finally, after another move he dug a well and no one gave him any trouble.

However, they seemed to move again to Beersheba where, much to Isaac’s surprise, his rival Abimelech came to see him wanting to call off their strife, because it was clear that the Lord was behind Isaac’s continued success.  They had a big feast and the next morning they both swore a binding oath of friendship.  Also, Isaac’s servants reported that they had dug a well and struck water again. Genesis 26:26-33.

Despite the arguing over water, the Lord continued to bless Isaac.  The theme of blessing continues even as Jacob cheats his brother Esau out of a blessing and the line of our salvation now comes through Jacob.

The workings of God are truly strange and yet the Lord’s blessings keep coming day after day, working their way through vicissitudes of our lives.

 

 

Perspective on Reality

 

Saturday the Pearls Before Swine cartoon opened with Goat saying to Rat, “This is my friend Bob.  He won an Emmy for a TV show.”

Rat: “So he entertained a tiny fraction of the population in one country on a small planet in an insignificant solar system on a non-descript arm of an unremarkable galaxy in a universe of over 100 billion galaxies.”

Goat: “Bob’s crying in the bathroom.”

Rat: “Perspective is cruel.”

The Old Testament reading for Sunday could leave us with the same perspective regarding our significance.  Isaiah 40:22, “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers…”

However, that’s not the whole picture.  Isaiah is writing of “The Lord who is the everlasting God the Creator of the ends of the earth.”  We are not merely existing on this third rock from the sun in an arm of the Milky Way.  Isaiah continues, “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength…they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles…”

The Gospel lesson enlarges our perspective on reality (Mark 1:29-39).  Yes, Jesus heals the diseased and casts out evil spirits, but Jesus has a larger perspective on his ministry.  He moves on to preach that in him God’s rule was taking hold on the earth, even in the lives of us grasshopper’s.  In Jesus we have a perspective on reality which stretches beyond the world of God’s creation but extends into eternity with life for all who trust Jesus’ good news.

Reading Psalm 30

I was reading Psalm 30 this morning. Since I’ve been living on the brink for over 25 years I find verses 9-12 resonate with me. Lord, “What profit is there in my death, if I go down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?…you have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothe me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”
Luther chimes in: “If God did not uphold and sustain us after he made us, we should long since, even in our birth and cradle, have perished and died.”