…and so I find myself reading and re-reading a portion of Paul and Timothy’s circulating letter to the early church that centers on comfort.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
Oh Father, we need your mercy and comfort. Thank You for the soul-brimming experience of mercy and comfort in the very midst of dastardly circumstances before they are set aright. Oh Christ, we need Your abundant patience as we share our suffering with You. Thank You for the lightening of pain when others (and You!) bear it alongside us; I have felt Your love and grace personally buoying us up all week. Oh Spirit, we need You to bind together our communities with hope and salvation. Thank You for the ways suffering endears us to each other, and for the hope and redemption of our forged unity. Amen.