Jan 16, 2022
Much like last week, the emphasis in this morning’s service can really be captured in a single word—where last Sunday it was “salvation,” this week it is “comfort.” The two readings from Psalm 46, which refer to God as a “fortress” and “a very present help,” promise that He will make wars to cease and assure us that we have nothing to fear when He is in our midst. In the sermon text from 2 Corinthians, Paul begins with a blessing for the “Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.” We sing comforting words from Fret Not Yourself—Psalm 37 (“He shall keep your pathway straight, uphold you with His hand”) and Be Still, My Soul (“Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake”), while we ask for the strength to comfort others in May The Mind Of Christ, My Savior (“That I may be calm to comfort sick and sorrowing”). As we come to the table, we use the hymns Calm Content and My Shepherd Will Supply My Need—Psalm 23 to declare that “we would find our souls at rest” in His care and that His provisions attend us all our days. We respond to all these words of comfort and assurance with the hymn Jesus, Lover Of My Soul, asking our Savior to “let the healing streams abound” and to cover us with the shadow of His wings. We are sent out with a promise from 2 Thessalonians: we can walk in this world with confidence because Jesus Christ Himself gives us “eternal comfort” and “good hope.” —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Comfort, Affliction, Share, Endure,
Keystone Verse: He “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.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 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. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 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. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.