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“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.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)            

Having reached the one-year mark of our living under a pandemic, there have been many reflections and memories shared in the media and among people in general.  A significant piece of that remembering consists of recalling the lives of people that we have lost.   Over 2 million deaths worldwide due to COVID-19.  Over 21,400 deaths in Canada due to Covid-19.  Over 6,679 deaths in Ontario due to Covid-19.

But loss and death are what we frequently face under non-pandemic conditions also.  Although real at any time throughout the year, it seems that especially during the months of March and April in our community there are several anniversaries of loss and deaths that we mark.  The sting of all these losses, whether recent or from some time ago are softened by the comfort that ultimately originates with God.

The Apostle Paul encourages us to embrace the comfort that comes from God.  God is named as the one who is the “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”, the one who is the “Father of all compassion”, the one who is “the God of all comfort”, and the one who “comforts us in all our troubles.”  Paul then alludes to one of the redemptive outcomes of our reaching out, accepting and embracing the comfort of God: that it will equip those of us who have experienced trouble to bring comfort to others.  When we accept God’s comfort in Christ, “we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

A song by Susan McCrackeren, reminding us of the faithful presence of the God of all comfort. “You Are With Me”