"The Comforter has come; The Comforter has come; O spread the tidings round wherever Man is found -- the comforter has come!" So wrote Wm. Kirkpatrick in 1890.
We live in a world where we are disturbed by uncertainties, paralyzed by fears, hurting and in pain, overly anxious and distressed, overwhelmed by violence and senseless destruction. We are in dire need of comfort! Where shall we turn? Who will comfort us?
Millions of people today are uncomfortable and ill-at-ease. What makes us uncomfortable? (1) God. Christians and Christian symbols are a constant reminder that there just might really be a Supreme God who is above and beyond we humans and to Whom we are all accountable. This possibility makes many feel ill-at-ease. (2) the Incarnation and the Resurrection also make many feel uncomfortable. It makes no sense to our human understanding. Yet, there are hundreds of on-site witnesses who testify to the fact that the Incarnation and the Resurrection actually happened. (3) Divine truth upsets a lot of moderns. The very possibility that truth is not relative but is eternal terrifies people. Plus, today's society is uncomfortable with facts -- truths that can be verified and backed up by facts. God's truth and human facts do not fit in with a self-centered view of life -- so both truth and facts are denied or ignored. (4) Opposing views stress people out; so many cannot tolerate any viewpoint nor opinion that calls into question their self-centered lives. (5) The word sin makes millions feel uncomfortable. Because sin presupposes that there is a God by whose standards all of us will be judged. (6) The word no puts people in a panic. An entire generation has grown up never having heard the word no -- "No, you can't ..." or "No, you shouldn't ..." And they can't handle it when anyone tells them "no." For all of these reasons, a lot of moderns are seeking a "safe place" -- without realizing that, in this world, there is no safe place!
Christians, on the other hand, have no problems with any of the above. We believe in and trust in a God who has promised to comfort us in every circumstance in life. We believe in the Incarnation (the invisible God became visible in Jesus Christ), and in the Resurrection (Jesus did, in fact, rise from the dead). We believe in, and follow accordingly, God's word of truth in the Bible. We accept the fact that we are sinners, saved from our sinfulness by the grace and mercy of a loving God. We have no fear of life, nor of death, because God is at our side through it all. Plus, God has promised to comfort us and to protect us from all the uncomfortable and stressful things in life.
What more can we ask? Only God Almighty can comfort us!
Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Religion on 03/01/2018
Print Headline: Finding Comfort