I’ve been thinking about comfort for several weeks now. I didn’t choose it. I’d rather think about pie or something funny Zac said… about pie. I was cajoled into making comfort the word of the week because of the Revised Common Lectionary. One of the intended consequences of scripture is the often bothersome effect it has on a person, and this week’s readings are no exception. In an effort to balance the sickly sweetness of Christianity that deflates the raw reality of being who you are before God, I’d like to just say here and now that I don’t like the passages for this week. I don’t know why, but these scripture verses bother me. I want them to go away.
How’s that look in your Jeremiah 29:11 coffee mug?
Listen, the struggle I’m having is in realizing that I’m not a very comfortable person. Isaiah 40 says Comfort, comfort my people… and all ll week I’ve asked Him: how? and when? and seriously? I ask this with great honesty and humility, because who am I to ask anything like this? Yet the question nags me. If this is true, then what’s missing? Why aren’t we comfortable? Why aren’t we being comforted? What’s with all the flagrant discomfort?
My tooth hurts. I’m anxious. I don’t like putting up Christmas lights. I got mad at someone who wasn’t driving very well. I worry about things I can’t control. Christmas is good and all, but why’s it gotta be so busy? Why did that person say that? When will I stop doing this? What’s the deal with gas prices? Oh. Wait. That’s good. Gas prices are good right now, considering.
Why are faithful saints dying when they should still be with us? Why are people making fools of themselves through facebook comments about national events? What drives a person to stab a bunch of strangers on an Amtrak train? Why The Foolishness?
Comfort, it would seem, has become a precious commodity that is always out of reach in a broken world.
The comfort, then… the comfort comes when we tell God that we’re uncomfortable. And then He takes it from there…
[continues Sunday 12/7/14 pfm]
I’ve been uncomfortable all through the last two days because I missed your important message about comfortable and uncomfortable feelings and behavior. I did let a phone distraction get in my way of attending church Sunday.