We are Called to Reflect the Compassion of the Triune God
We exist in community and we are to help one another grieve rightly. Sadness and grief occur every week somewhere in our community and certainly in the world around us.
Again, we must know the narratives of the Scriptures which help us to deal with grief.
In the story of Job, Job’s friends are criticised by Bible commentators for giving bad advice to Job in his sufferings and tragedies. They are constrained by their thinking that life is transactional rather than sovereignly overseen by the God of grace. They point out to Job, that he must have done bad things in order for God to be punishing him. So, they not only presume that life is transactional (you get out what you put in), but that God is transactional.
However, his friends did begin in the right way as we see in this short part of the story:
“When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”
They sat, in silence, with him; they felt his pain and sadness. They experienced compassion – an identification with the suffering of Job. In that week, they reflected the nature of our gracious covenant God, “The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”
We comfort simply by being present. No discussion, no explanations, no theological treatise. Just friendship, love and presence.
 Job 2:11-13
 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
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