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Encouragement for Today

. 2 min read

From our District Superintendent, Rev. Larry Leland:

Friends,
After initial greetings, the 2 Letter to the Corinthians
begins with these words:
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 receive from God.
 For
just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our
comfort abounds through Christ.
 If
we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are
comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of
the same sufferings we suffer.
 And
our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our
sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
  

We have heard that this week, with regard to the pandemic,
will likely be the worst and hardest week – with spikes in both infections and
deaths.  I’m grateful that my morning devotions led me to 2 Corinthians,
for such a time as this. Whatever troubles we may face, and our congregations,
communities and world are struggling with, we have the privilege of being both
the comforted (by no less than the God of all comfort), and the comforters
(reaching out to those who are hurting with the grace we ourselves have
received).
But I also am grateful to be walking with you through Holy
Week – also referred to as the worst week and hardest week for both Jesus and
his first disciples.  I can only imagine that, after the triumphal entry
into Jerusalem, to hear Jesus curse the fig tree and then turn over tables in
the Temple, the disciples would have been starting to wonder what was going on.
In many ways, as we walk with Jesus through all of the hard things in this Holy
Week, agonizing prayer, betrayal, arrest and crucifixion, we have the gift of
hindsight, because we know that Easter is on the way.
So, my friends, even as we walk through this hardest, worst
week, we remember that the worst thing is never the last thing. Even as we
comfort one another, and those in our care, we do not grieve as those who have
no hope.  Live in these difficult moments. But do so with the hope of
resurrection and the promise of life on the other side.
In Christ,
Larry