Those Who Mourn

Recordings, notes and application questions

Each week, we produce notes, discussion points and application questions for the Sunday talks — helping you go deeper into everything we’re looking at together and resourcing our Small Groups during the week. Use the embedded player to listen to the talk, or click here to visit Soundcloud and download it on a PC. You can also subscribe to Oasis podcasts on Spotify, iTunes or Podbean for listening on the go, and you can find the accompanying Powerpoint presentation for this week’s talk here.

Key Passages

  • Matthew 5:1–12
  • Psalm 13
  • John 20:24–29

Notes

The Beatititudes are “good news proclamations” about what God has done for us, an expression of Matthew 4:23 — “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people”. And they are good news for those who the world considers to be down-and-outs — in this case, those who mourn.

That word “mourn” can bring with it a lot of feelings for those of us who have struggled (especially recently) with grief. The sense of the word here though is much wider than personal bereavement, it includes all those who have “lost what is most dear to them” (Peterson), everyone who has faced up to the brokenness in themselves and in the world around them, and felt the weight of that — whether it’s from grief, or from shame, or sin, or injustice, or suffering. At the deepest level, it encompasses all of us, even if we don’t realise it yet, because all of us have placed our hope, confidence and identity outside of God, in things which are ultimately broken and fallible.

But no sooner do we recognise this brokenness than we receive the promise of comfort, a promise thrown wide open to all. As we bring our brokenness to God, we find comfort in Jesus.

This comfort comes as we lament, as we pour out our pain to God and cry out to him for answers, as we bring our scars to Jesus and find that meets us in the midst of them, and as we walk together as a community, hoping out hope to one another and lifting one another up.

On the cross, we see God’s loyal, loving kindness at work, His covenant commitment to His people to deal with the brokenness at our very core and the brokenness in the world around us, in order that what is true of him becomes true of us. The comfort that Jesus knows from His perfect wholeness and His perfect unity with the Father and the Spirit is offered to us in Himself — not that close our eyes and suddenly everything is okay again, but that we can know he endured even that to be with us in the midst of it. And, at the same time, the promise of the resurrection is that God’s project of new creation has already begun, and that by His Spirit, through his people, he wants to bring it to each and every person, just as he will one day bring it to all of creation in a renewed and restored heaven and earth — a place where every tear is wiped away at last, where love and peace and justice reign, and where mourning is finally at an end because brokenness has been done away with for good.

Application Questions

  1. What spoke to you most from Sunday?
  2. How would you define “the good news of the Kingdom” that Jesus came to offer?
  3. How does it change our reading of the beatitudes to see them as good news proclamations of what God has done, rather than attitudes for us to work at?
  4. What aspect of brokenness in yourself or in the world are you feeling the weight of at the moment? What encouragement is there in that from these verses?
  5. How does lament differ from complaint? Why does that matter?
  6. Why does Jesus show the disciples his scars? What encouragement is that to us?
  7. How can we increasingly learn to stand together, supporting one another and holding out hope, as we grow as a community? What needs are there within the group and within our community that we can pray into?