Matthew 5: 4
Blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted.
Jesus is not speaking of those who mourn the loss of a loved one, although I do believe that God reaches out to them. But in the context of this sermon I believe Jesus is speaking of those people who mourn their sins.
People who are poor in spirit have a keen sense of their own sins and are deeply troubled by them. They are said to be "convicted of their sins by the Holy Spirit." In my years as a pastor I have found that one of the biggest obstacles to a person's spiritual life is their past and specifically their past sins. Many people do not feel worthy to approach God in prayer, take communion, participate in Sunday School, or even read scripture because of their past.
The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins but then provides us with power and strength to overcome our pasts. We are made anew. We are new a creation. And when we experience this, when we discover that our past no longer weighs us down or defines us, we are comforted. And we find great joy and peace in this.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can begin to live in a different way. The Holy Spirit leads us in our practice of the spiritual disciplines of prayer, worship, scripture study, sacrifice of our time, talents and resources, fellowship, and service. As a result, we are drawn into an ever deepening, ever evolving relationship with God.
On Monday (skipping Sunday) we will study the meek, who will inherit the earth.