It's a beautiful day in Suburbia Majora, a day to be outside wearing garden gloves and working the good earth. Today's Collect is of equal beauty:
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Even in the sunshine or the reverie of a warm spring afternoon, we're unimmune from the chilled hand of tragedy. A dear friend shared this fact as they related to a phone call that had struck like a pile driver. Knee deep in Easter's Hoopla, the fried received a dire call concerning the health of a family member, a terminal condition was poised to strike down one who'd barely begun to bud in this lifetime. Any number of options are at our disposals in moments like this; nearly all are may be unhealthy, unprofitable or unscriptural.
Some of the most interesting reactions come from those claiming a hold on the truth. Yes, I'm speaking of the ones claiming to be of the family of faith. Reactions can be polar and range from the one who sounds like a squeaky little Confucian fatalist, to the one who spits, peeps and mutters, coming off like a sweaty, pompous little tornado. The one's who are either sighing or shouting are bringing little of any true comfort to the unfolding situation.
Once, I would have been numbered among the shouters. As any pentecostal preacher worth his salt, I would have been busy binding devils, shouting out repetitive praises and naming God's healing, and claiming it for the infirmed. In the midst of this, I became acutely aware of a visceral tension; people die. I saw a stark truth that revealed that we live in the space between "By His stripes we are healed" and "Its appointed for all once to die...".
Where does this leave us? Simply and much easier said than done, it leaves, no compels us to seek comfort and solace in one person.
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows"
Have you considered for a moment, that we've been called to become conduits of comfort to the world around us.
The Lord is personally acquainted with our griefs and sorrows, having not only created our emotional wiring, but from having walked as one of us in the man, Jesus the Christ. The Almighty who has known our pain as well as the comfort of His Father, is in-turn able to take our hands and hearts in these raw moments. And like the tearful child who has just awakened from a bad dream, He is speaks to both our tears and fears.
Yet, in His call, we've been called not to be mere receptacles but conduits through which His comfort may flow to others on the bleeding edge. You see, not only have we been the blessed recipients, we're to be that next course of pipeline taking the flow of mercy towards the afflicted.
Holy and Almighty Father, today we beseech your many mercies on behalf of this family who has received this devestating news. Be a light to them that in the midst of their storm, they many find both you, and the rest you offer. I ask that you may be know to them as you are known to both son and holy spirit. Father we know your will to be both supreme and irresistable so if you should desire wholeness, no force in hell will brevail against the family or your perfect will. Regardless, we lift these to you that your perfect will be done in the name of Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit; one God now and forever. Amen.