“Don’t Cry” – Pastor’s Pen November 2021

When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, “Don’t cry.”  (Luke 7:13)

On November 11, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald, a 721-foot ore ship, was on a run from Superior, Wisconsin, to Whitefish Bay, Ontario. It never reached its destination. The high winds and 30-foot waves of Lake Superior made this journey its last one. Twenty-nine men died. The relatives of these sailors were all too familiar with tragedies of this kind, and pain filled their hearts as they heard the church bell ring 29 times. Other mariners and friends were filled with compassion for the surviving families, but nothing could be done. Only words of sympathy could be offered.

The same feelings of compassion filled the heart of Jesus as He approached the gate of Nain and the widow, the corpse, the mournful procession. He came up to her and said, “Don’t cry.” Jesus was not implying that it is wrong to cry at a funeral. We know that Jesus wept at the grave of his friend, Lazarus, and we know the Bible says, “Mourn with those who mourn,” (Romans 12:15). Tears have a way of releasing the buildup of our sorrow. The message Jesus wanted to communicate to the widow of Nain was this: “Dry your eyes, for you have hope.”

Jesus wants to communicate that same message to us today. He wants us to know that we have hope – eternal hope. The Apostle Paul spelled out that hope to the Thessalonian Christians. “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him,” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

“Stop crying” sounds like an unbelievable request, especially when we see a loved one pass away. But the message of the forgiveness of sins and the good news of Jesus’ love and mercy enables us, in due time, to dry our tears. It imparts the certain hope that we and all who believe in Christ will meet again, nevermore to die. For the same Christ who said, “Arise,” to the widow’s son, and “Come forth,” to Lazarus, will say the same to His people on the last day. And we shall arise and come forth!

Christ’s love in this Thanksgiving month,

Pastor John