Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tale of two tears

People are emotional and that is what makes us human.  Though studies have shown that animals can show emotions they generally rely on their instincts to get though day to day life.  humans do things different while we do things instinctual we generally rely on our emotions to express our feelings.  We get angry, we get sad and we can be happy.  All of these emotions are what make us who we are.  Jesus did all of these things as well or he wouldn't have been human.  He was angry when he kicked the money changers out of the temple, we was sad at hearing the death of Lazarus and we was happy at the wedding at Cana.

We can express our emotions in a variety of ways, one of them in is through tears.  The is one of primal ways that we release our emotions.  From birth we come out of the womb crying.  Baby's cry when they are hungry, when they are tired, when they are wet and sometimes they just cry to cry.  As we get older we cry at the loss of a loved one or when we are overwhelmed and frustrated.  We also can cry when we are overwhelmed with joy as well.  An emotional tribute or a reunification with a loved one will bring tears of joy.

In this advent season as we have just passed thought the feast of the Immaculate Conception I wanted to look at two stories that probably brought tears to the participants in different ways.  Thought not explicit in scripture, you can see how that situation may have brought about raw emotions.

Tears of Eve
 First we look at Eve, who was giving paradise with her husband Adam.  The only restriction was to not eat of the tree.  Through the cunning of the serpent she was tricked into a desire to be like God and know good and evil.  After doing this and disobeying God, Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden. 

To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.” (Gen 3:16)

While God clothed them and still cared for them, getting booted from paradise probably was not a fun experience for Adam and Eve.  Genesis 3 states what God did but never mentions the reaction of Adam and Eve.  In my opinion I would believe this would be a time of sorrow and that Eve would probably have cried tears of great sadness for the downfall of mankind.

The tears of Eve would be that of disappointment in herself and resentment of the serpent.  Put yourself in a situation where you caused others great pain or loss.  There were probably tears of sorrow. 

Tears of Mary
Second we look at Mary, chosen by God to bear Jesus into the world.  Upon hearing of this after an initial confusion she glorifies God.  Which we would assume she would be overjoyed with joy to the point of happy tears while praising God.

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age
to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm,
dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant,
remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” (Luke 1:46-55)

So we see that the fall and the redemption of mankind were likely expressed with tears.  Tears of sorrow for the fall and tears of joy and anticipation for the redemption of world. Though Mary's tears will change at the live of Jesus unfolds before her at this point we see he overwhelmed with joy at the coming of the savior.  

Throughout the remainder of Advent mediation of the tears of both Eve and Mary.  Eve's tears remind us of our sin and fallen nature and how we should strive to do better and get into right relation with God.  Mary's tears are of the joy that God would send his only sun in the fullness of time to redeem us from our fallen nature and open the gates of paradise to us once again.  Both of these will cause us to weep in different ways but for sorrow and for joy.