Have you ever just been moved to tears by something?

Maybe it was a tragic sight on the TV or maybe it was a message you received from a loved one. Maybe it was the news of a diagnosis or maybe it was the ending of a relationship.

In our human nature, we are prone to experience pain and hurt. It is a part of being human. And yet, often our world seeks to eliminate tears and push past them as if they are unnecessary and messy. Many of us cannot stand when strong emotions overcome us, and yet there is really nothing we can do about it except to let them flow.

Just this week a dear friend of mine called me in tears and the only appropriate response was to cry with them. Instead of trying to “fix” the matter I’ve learned the best thing to do in cases like this is to join alongside our friends in times of need. Being present is something we learn from Jesus himself.

This week’s scripture lesson comes from John 11:28-37 where Jesus is met by the news of Lazarus’ death. When Mary and Martha come to him in tears, he didn’t try to stop their tears, he joins them in their tears and weeps for himself. Lazarus was loved by Jesus and the only appropriate response in the moment was to let the tears flow.

At times in our lives, we too need to let the tears flow. Whether you are the person that cries often or if you are a person who never cries, we learn that tears are a holy thing. There will be times in our lives when tears are the only appropriate and possible response to something, and that is a sacred thing. Instead of trying to avoid the tears or trying to hold them back to appear “strong”, Jesus teaches us that tears are a sign of faith. Tears are an act of crying out to God to meet us in the pain and to be met by the presence of God in that moment.

This week, don’t be afraid to be met by tears. If someone comes to you in tears, join them and simply be with them. If you are the one who comes to tears, allow them to flow and ask God to comfort you in that moment of vulnerability. Trust and know that crying is a holy thing regardless of what the world has taught us otherwise.

When we cry, we are putting our faith in God to hold us in moments of tenderness. Let it be and let the tears flow.

We invite you to join us for worship this Sunday at 11am in person or online at St. John’s on the Lake UMC! We will join to sing and worship together and be met by the presence of God in our midst. We hope to see you then!

Peace and blessings,

Pastor Kipp