Grief and Easter
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. —1 Thessalonians 4:13
Here Paul begins to describe what it means that death and loss are framed by baptism into Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the dead. Paul invites Christians to grieve with hope.
Too many people hold onto their emotionally-repressed, “feel no feelings” European heritage as if it’s the Lord’s own command. As if Paul wrote, “Do not grieve!” Full stop.
Wrong! Paul rejects this foolishness. Grieve, by all means! Grieve with hope. I’m an emotionally-repressed European who is learning what this means. It liberates me, even while its often uncomfortable and inconvenient.
It’s okay to feel your feelings. It’s okay to express your feelings. The road of hope is paved with tears. Tears are a remembrance of baptism.
We cannot trust in Jesus Christ, firstfruits and firstborn of the dead, while denying the pain of death and loss. Numb people don’t need trust, only people who are coming to life. Only living bodies feel pain and mourn and know in their bones how needful it is never to lose hope.