Lift your brother’s face

Lately, we have seen a lot of brokenness in the lives of the people around us.  We’ve had friends who lost their unborn baby, friends who’ve lost their jobs, friends who’ve lost their battle with cancer, a family member who died from health complications, friends who’ve received a serious brain injury leaving two children without a mother to care for them, marriages broken and families torn apart, and today we found out a dear friend of ours has cancer.

We live in this broken world and these things are nothing new.  I don’t write that to minimize the pain we feel.  We all feel the weight of the brokenness.  And sometimes it feels like one blow after another.  Today at church, one of the elders stood to dismiss the congregation and he said, “we all have been through seasons when God has disturbed our lives through pain and brokenness…” That’s a true statement but I forget it sometimes.  It’s easy to start thinking, “no one feels the pain I feel. No one gets what I’m going through! I wish God were standing here presently with me.”

If we could just step outside our own story for a moment we would see EVERYONE is going through a battle or will be going though one someday.  No one gets out of this life without trouble.  And here’s where the church gets its opportunity to be the light in the darkness.  We are bringers of The Good News, we are Encouragers, we are Hopeful Children of The Most High God, we are full of the Living Spirit of Christ and we bear the Light.

I recently went to a funeral for a friend who was a christian.  As I sat there behind the wife and three children he left behind, the church was completely packed.  People even sat in the lobby watching the ceremony from TV monitors.  I realized something.  Here in the sorrow we felt, all these people filling the church were being the body of Christ.  The family was not alone.  The arms that hugged them, the words that comforted them, the money provided for their meals and for hospital bills, and all the love that covered them – it was Christ being embodied by His church. There was light and hope even in the darkest moment because we decided to be the church like Christ called us to be.

And so though we find ourselves in the brokenness of this life – Lift up your brothers face to the Light of Christ.  Let your light shine for all the world to see.  Be bold in your love, and remember you are not alone in your suffering.  Look outside yourself and see all people walk through trouble and sorrow, so use your experiences of perseverance to comfort those who are hurting.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 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.” 1 Corinthians 1:3-4

In this way we continue to be the church.

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