Sunday, December 6, 2015

Your Tears Are Welcome Here

When people cry in Sunday School, worship, my office, or anywhere else I often say "Your tears are welcome here."  Crying is part of life, and we tear up for all sorts of reasons. It is natural the church collects so many.

Today I cried mid-sermon.  I can count on one hand the number of times this has happened.  A year ago I would have been embarrassed by my tears, but not so much any more.  Baptisms, funerals, professions of faith, silent suffering, strife in the world, sickness, prayers, weddings, worries, the return of a prodigal--these moments are the creators of waterworks, happy and sad.

I could feel a lump welling in my throat for a minute or two, but one sentence in particular was the culprit: "Jesus healed the untouchable with a touch."  That Jesus heals with what we simultaneously fear and hope for is grace.

But to be fair I think these tears had been welling all week.

Dedicating a baby to the Lord will do it.

Spending a week with Romans 8 will do it.  

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Watching a gaggle of children in biblical garb will do it.  

Making Advent wreaths with the church will do it. 

Sharing table fellowship with Buildings and Grounds will do it.  Praying with Karen will do it. Talking to our missionaries in Arizona will do it.  You never know when tears will surprise you.

So whether you are crying tears of celebration, mourning, doubt, gratitude, or conviction this season, know you have a place at Scottsville Baptist. Your tears are welcome here.