Laughter and Tears

Read: Matthew 5:1-10

In this past week I have had reason to celebrate and laugh with people as well as mourn and pray for people in difficult situations.  It reminded me of our calling as Christians and fellow believers to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)

It also reminded me of the Beatitudes that Jesus shared at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.  In those verse Jesus speaks of peace, mourning, comfort, mercy, blessings, and what the kingdom of heaven looks like.  It is a reminder that we are to share those things with each other so that we too might see and remember what God’s kingdom truly looks like.

If a fellow believer and friend has something to celebrate we are called to be happy for them and celebrate with them instead of being envious and jealous of their blessing.  If they are experiencing pain and heartache or going through a very challenging time, we are called to be “present” with them and support them through that time.  In many ways we are called to be aware of what people on both sides of that fence are feeling.

I’ve heard that a new Peanuts Cartoon movie is coming out in the theatres soon.  This week’s meditation reminds me of a certain Peanuts cartoon in which Linus and Charlie Brown are watching a football game on T.V..   Linus says to Charlie Brown, “What a comeback, the home team was down by 6 with only 3 seconds to play and they ended up scoring a touchdown and extra point to win.  The fans went wild and many of them ran onto the field screaming and celebrating the victory.”  Charlie Brown turns to him and asks, “How did the other team feel?”

Life has many ups and downs.  None of us are exempt from those ups and downs, although some people seem to have a more extreme ride than others.  We need to be aware of both in our lives and in other people’s lives.  God has placed us here together for a reason.  We are to live out the beatitudes of Jesus and be there for each other in the good times as well as the hard times.

In Philippians 2:3-4 the Bible says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.”  Whose interest are you looking out for this week?  Celebrate with those who are celebrating and be near to those who feel defeated and hopeless.  Jesus Christ calls us to nothing less than this.

Make it personal:  Usually when we think about interest it is about our bank account and how much money we can make on an investment.  This week I have asked us to think about the interest of others.  Whose joy can you compound this week?  Whose comfort level can you increase?  Who can you pray for that needs God’s touch?

Have a blessed week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church