"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." (Romans 12:15)
From the earliest days, Christians have learned to hold very different aspects of life in tension. (Perhaps we are helped in this way of thinking by the mystery of the Incarnation: that in Jesus of Nazareth we see One who is both fully God and fully human, without conflating or confusing the two.)
This penchant for paradoxes also flows into our daily lives as well, shaping how we can navigate the changes and changes of our days. We can acknowledge and trust in the goodness of the Living God without minimizing human suffering. We can appreciate the rich complexity of life, without oversimplifying our experiences, or those of our neighbours. And as St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans, sharing in God's new life, brought about through the death and resurrection of Jesus, means we are able to faithfully face both joys and pains of this life head on.
There is real room in Christ's Church for us to both rejoice and to weep.
Below are two links to articles that may help us think about the vital role of grief, especially in the light of all that has been happening in the world these days. The first is an article by Dr. Glenn Packiam, speaking from a Christian perspective about rediscovering the importance of lament. The second is an interview with author David Kessler, put out by Harvard Business Review back in late March, which helps make sense of a lot of the confusing feelings many of us are trying to navigate.
I think their wisdom may shed some helpful light for us today.
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Rev. Rob serves as the Priest-in-Charge at St. Luke's Gondola Point, and as the School Chaplain at Rothesay Netherwood School