and when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. and there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. and they accompanied him to the ship. [acts 20:36-38]
christian community – in prayer & much weeping
how many people have you wept much over? weeping isn’t something our culture seems to value – for men, it makes us look “weak,” for women “emotional.” but we see throughout scripture that the Lord values weeping. when deep relationships are met with loss, we see Godly people mourn and weep. in the old testament and the psalms, we see many examples of godly grief and sorrow. our Lord Jesus himself wept when he was confronted with mary and martha’s grief over the loss of their brother—even though Jesus knew he was about to raise lazarus from the dead.
oh, how i long for relationships that would lead to weeping at a parting like paul and the church in ephesus here! this weeping is not a sign of weakness, or of excessive emotion, but of love. Lord, teach us to love one another as you do, and to weep and mourn in your Spirit, not submitting to a worldly culture that finds no value in it!
~stephen hall