Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
- Weekly Pastoral Message -

"Continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Acts 2:42

Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 18th October 1998

From the Pastor: Beatitudes and PC III

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", concludes the American Declaration of Independence, are the chief end of man. Indeed, it could be said that these three ideals are the most highly prized in our present world, where the hedonistic values of personal pleasure, liberty and happiness underlie much of the morality and even legislation of the past generation. We hear it for example, in respect of easy divorce: if there is a "marriage breakdown" the way out must, it is contended, be facilitated so that the aggrieved partners maintain their "happiness". Even professing Christians justify such procedures with the plea that "God's will is for us to be happy".

What a contrast is the second beatitude, which extols not happiness, but mourning! Is Christ serious? Does He approve those with long faces? Is He really saying, "Blessed are the masochists (or at least 'wet blankets')!"? Such misconceptions are far from the mark. The mourners in the Bible are those who observe sin both in their own lives and in the world at large, and weep. They are the realists, as opposed to the frivolous and superficial who make up this world. The Christian faces God, eternity, judgment and destiny as realities and lives in their light.

With these in mind how shallow is PC! The God who has thundered against idolatry, blasphemy, adultery, theft and covetousness has declared His priorities. These are the things which should make us weep, not whether we call the president of a meeting the "chairman" or "chairperson", still less that we include homosexuals in the Christian church or ordain women to the ministry.

The promise is that those who mourn "shall be comforted". That comfort will be finally realized when the present mourner attains to the "new heavens and new earth" where all tears shall be wiped away from all faces. To be joyful then one must be a mourner now - regarding the essential things.


Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
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