Posted by: duncandrews | May 14, 2012

My eyes a fountain of tears: a theology of weeping (ii)

‘Jesus wept’

As you come to the place of tears in bible’s story, what is striking is their prominence. Scripture is soaked in tears, from Genesis to Revelation. Crying is not only common, but occurs at key narrative and theological high-points, some of which we’ll get to later.

But the most important tears in the biblical narrative are found in the eyes of our Lord himself. John Donne, the great metaphysical poet and preacher, wrote a fascinating sermon on John 11:35, the shortest verse in the bible: ‘Jesus wept’. In it Donne describes the amazement of the (unknown) person who divided the bible into chapters and verses:

Whoever did it seems to have stopped in an amazement at this Text […] Jesus wept. There is not a shorter verse in the Bible, nor a larger Text.

Our reflections here will revolve around this fixed point of Jesus’ own tears; firstly as they relate to humanity; then as they relate to God himself. Lastly we’ll look at the apostle Paul, whose example of weeping in joy, and rejoicing in tears, provides a powerful model for our own tears.

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