How heart warming it is to see people come together in times of grief! This picture however, is not of a funeral but a wedding. There is joy for the newly married couple but also grief at the imminent passing of the bride’s father. This group of believers may be very different from one another. But what unites them is their shared joy and pain. Not only is each individual helped but the one they are surrounding is uplifted by this show of oneness and support.
In today’s verse there is both suffering and joy. Both emotions can be shared within Christ’s body, the Church even though we show and experience emotion in different ways. The weight of emotion is not quite as heavy when it is shared. That sharing brings us together and emphasizes our oneness. We are to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15). Doing so makes our unity that much stronger. And when we are one, people can see Christ in us (John 17:20-23).
There is nothing worse than feeling strong emotions and having no one with which to share them. Both intense joy and grief can increase feelings of isolation when they are not shared. But when I can relate in this way with other believers, I connect on another level. My little part of the body feels more integrated. And what is really amazing is that this connection between believers somehow glorifies Christ and He is seen more clearly in me and in all of us!
Thank you Lord, for the connection I can have with other believers.