Pastor’s Corner, January 14, 2022

Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church

GRIEF. It’s something we all experience if we are on this planet for any length of time. Even Jesus experienced grief at the tomb of His friend Lazarus. The Bible simply records, “Jesus wept” in John 11:35. When learning of the death of someone, some people will say, “It was God’s will.” As if that should somehow take away our grief, alleviate our mourning. Death was certainly not “God’s will” from the beginning. Death is the enemy brought on by mankind’s sin. Jesus came to defeat sin and death through His own death on the cross. Because of Him, we have HOPE. Jesus understands our grief. Jesus wept. And so can we.
I found the following article helpful. Maybe you will too.UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRIEVING AND MOURNING

 Grief is what we think and feel on the inside when someone we love dies. Examples include fear, loneliness, panic, pain, yearning, anxiety, emptiness etc. It is the internal meaning given to the experience of loss.

 Mourning is the outward expression of our grief; it is the expression of one’s grief.  We mourn by talking, crying, journaling/letter writing, using art or music as a means of expressing our grief.

 Most people experience grief when someone they love dies, but if we are to heal, we must also mourn.

 We move toward integrating the loss into our lives not just by grieving, but by mourning.

 Mourning a death is not always easy. As a culture we tend to be uncomfortable with outward expressions of grief. We sometimes feel ashamed or weak if we show our innermost feelings, yet the truth is, it takes strength and perseverance to mourn.

 If some of your friends or family are not compassionately supporting your mourning, see those who will.

 Grieving without mourning is dangerous and destructive to your emotional, physical and spiritual self.

 Ask yourself this: “Have I been mourning this death or have I restricted myself to grieving?”

 Do you have a difficult time expressing your grief outside of yourself (i.e. mourning)? If so, why?

 If you have permitted yourself to mourn, what are the ways you have done this? Who or what has been helpful in your mourning?

NOTE: Adapted from “Understanding Your Grief: Ten Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart” Dr. Alan Wolfelt, 2003

For all who are grieving or mourning, may God give you strength, comfort, grace and peace.

Pastor Pam

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