John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the New Testament – just two words, though the NRSV manages to stretch it out to four. Jesus wept.
He wept because his friend Lazarus was dead. He wept because the people who loved Lazarus were grieving. He wept because his heart was full of compassion. (The ancient Greeks actually thought your guts were full of compassion, rather than your heart, but that’s a different linguistic story.)
Jesus wept because he cared. Even knowing that he could raise Lazarus from the dead any time he wanted. Because there was so much wrong in the world, and people were hurting, and he cared.
We are surrounded today by so much hurt and pain, and many of us experience that pain personally. Our churches are unable to worship together because people are dying of Covid-19. Americans are hurting because we are at each other’s throats. Neighbors are hurting because there is violence in the streets. Black neighbors are hurting because of racism.
People are hurting, and so Jesus weeps.
People are hurting, and so people are angry. In our churches and in our society, people are angry. Last week I looked to see how I could shut down my Facebook page, because I’m growing weary of the anger and the ugly way people talk to one another and the ugly way people talk about one another.
I didn’t shut it down, because I remembered that Jesus doesn’t hide from hurting people. (Well, that and because I couldn’t immediately figure out how to. I am not tech savvy.)
Jesus doesn’t hide from hurting people. Jesus weeps with hurting people. He walks alongside us and weeps with us and encourages us and promises to always be with us. He loves us and won’t stop loving us even when our nails pierce his body and our angry words pierce his heart.
So don’t give up. Don’t hide. Don’t stop fighting for truth and justice. Don’t stop witnessing to the love of Christ. Because he is with us, and he will stay with us, and we will overcome some day.
Thanks for listening.