Christian Comfort

The Urban Missions Initiative
Volume 2
Christian Comfort, Issue 7
The Anglican Cycle of Prayer
Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany – “Set us free, Oh God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of the abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.” Amen
Grace to you* and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassions and God of all comfort, the One comforting us in all our affliction, for our being able to be comforting the ones in every affliction by means of the comfort with which we are comforted ourselves by God. Because just as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, in the same manner our comfort also abounds through Christ. Now if we experience hardship [or, are afflicted], [it is] for the sake of your* comfort and salvation, the one being effective in [the] patient endurance of the same sufferings which _we_ also are suffering; and our hope [or, confident expectation] [is] steadfast concerning you*. If we are comforted, [it is] for the sake of your* comfort and salvation, knowing that even as you* are sharers of the sufferings, in the same manner also [you* will share] of the comfort.” I Co 1:3-14
Have you ever received compassion and comfort? Not the passing kind, the kind that simply expresses best wishes or good intentions; I mean the grace and deep felt comfort when you really needed it? It happened for a reason. Not the trouble, the comfort. It was so that you and I would be equipped to give the same authentic and deep felt love to others who finds themselves needing it. Trouble comes because we live in a troubled world, Jesus came that we might overcome this troubled world with love and Grace. I love the description the writer gives about our God.
He says that he is the Father of compassions, the God of all comfort, and the One who comforts us in ALL our affliction. One could spend a lot of time arguing about what causes trouble and why God doesn’t stop it. This one thing I know, there is no argument against the idea that God has done something about our world, and has given us the tools of justice, peace, grace, love, and comfort. I wonder what would happen if enemies would begin to comfort the other first? I wonder what would happen if Vocal activists would go to Arkansas and repair, paint, and clean up the Westboro Baptist Church? I wonder what would happen if each of you would go out your way to bring peace and comfort to another this week, especially someone you don’t get along with?
You see, Christ came to equip us with spiritual tools to be used. Matthew five, for example, tells us about the beatitudes, I Corinthians thirteen talks about Love, Romans twelve tells us about Christian character, Galatians five gives us the fruit of the Spirit. In all of these passages we are given tools, spiritual actions and character that we must choose to act on. Being a Christian is a choice. God will watch our backs, pick us up, and equip us, but we must chose to use the tools of comfort that he has given us. Think about it; if the God of the universe went to so much trouble to come to this earth and pay the ultimate price, even for people that hate him, and pay that price for you and me, should we not show others the same grace, even those who hate us? It is the power of God through Spiritual tools (gifts) that WE use that will change the world and ultimately make us into who He calls us to be… comfort givers.

May God radicalize your life this week with love and power and comfort!
Timothy

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About Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

Disciple of Jesus Christ with a Progressive Message, Author, Franciscan Friar, Musician, Social Activist, and Urban Missionary View all posts by Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

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