Our God of all Comfort
This past week has been full of much pain, sorrow and struggle as our community has begun to absorb the news of the fatal crash at Punkeydoodles Corners that resulted in the sudden death of Sadie Bender and the critical condition of Casey Bender. Sadness, grieve, anger… are only a few of the responses, feelings and emotions that have emerged through the week. Along with this tragic crash, we each face other painful struggles and difficult life realities that at times threatened to overwhelm us.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of a suffering servant who was to come, “a man of suffering, familiar with pain”; one whose wounds would help to heal us. (Isaiah 53). Jesus, the human presence of God with us, was this servant. He lived his life among human pain and suffering as he carried his own, he was tempted as we are, suffered grief as we do, questioned God in his deepest pain like we have. God, because of Jesus, understands our pain and struggle. And he invites us to bring all the burden we carry to him. Jesus, our Lord becomes our wounded healer.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
The suffering servant, our suffering God becomes our God of refuge, comfort, healing, strength and new hope; our God of all comfort.
As the psalmist proclaimed thousands of years ago, so we can reclaim today:
God is our refuge and strength, a very presenthelp in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult….
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations;
I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.(Psalm 46)
Our suffering God, in strength, love and power, empowers us by the Spirit to be channels of love, comfort and grace to each other. God has been at work this week through so many of you bringing comfort and hope in the midst of so much pain. Thanks be to God!
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1)