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Grief

by the Rev'd Alfred J. Heine, St. Augustine's, Metairie, Louisiana

An inscription on the 9/11 Memorial across from the U.S. Embassy in London reads, “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

Everyone who has lost a loved one to death knows that powerful truth: love comes at a cost. Grief is the price we pay for love, but the life given by loving relationships is absolutely worth the cost. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead demonstrates this.

Each of us has grieved the heart of God. Nevertheless, the Word became flesh and risked further grievances. The Word felt grief at the death of Lazarus, being betrayed by Judas, being abandoned by most of his friends, and yet, incredibly, God raised Jesus from the dead and His first words behind the fearfully locked doors were, “Peace be with you.” He came back for more love, despite the grief that inevitably comes with it.

In our earthly relationships we experience the joy of love and the pain of grief that comes with them. The Resurrection, however, changes the balance. It’s not that heartache has been removed from human relationships – instead, the Resurrection points to a deeper truth beyond emotions. The love of God never dies. Grief exists, but it doesn’t get the last word. Love is worth the grief it may cause, because love never ends.

This is the love – costly love – that we are called to share with others as Christ shares with us. Faith in the resurrection allows us to enter into relationships fully aware, yet unafraid, of the costs of love. We celebrate the relationships of love within our parish fellowship. We proclaim this love to the children of our parish, school, and community. And we welcome the gift of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost so that we may be empowered to love with the spirit of the risen Christ – the Spirit that will take us all the way to relationships with the people of the Church of the Holy Spirit.

There are costs associated with loving as Christ loves us, but through the power of the Resurrection we also know that love never ends -- beloved, let us love one anot
-- I Corinthians 13:8, I John 4:7