Sound and Spirit gave me four extra cds as a result of the letter. Thanks to them for being kind and switching my membership to the other program.


Jerry Falwell is scary. "Seeking to take advantage of the momentum from an election where moral values proved important to voters, the Rev. Jerry Falwell announced Tuesday he has formed a new coalition to guide an "evangelical revolution." He appears to be trying to profit off of something he had nothing to do with. Did you ever read Jimmy Bakker's book? I'm not going to support any coalition Falwell is in charge of after that. What's that say for Christian unity? I don't know, but unity with a terrorist is not something I want. Okay, that might be going too far, but you get the point.


2 Corinthians 1:3-7

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation,4 who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.6 If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering.7 Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation."

This verse really struck me the other day. We are consoled in order to be consoling to others. When our suffering increases so does the consoling we receive from God. When we suffer it is so that we can become who we need to be for our salvation. No matter what sorrow or suffering happens in our lives, our hope is that Christ will share that time of sadness with us. He will be there to console us.

I found a website that did a lot of research on the Greek word translated "consolation" here. It really gives it a much greater meaning. He used all the tools that I wished I owned.

Anyway, the conclusion, which I think makes these verses more powerful is this: Consoling, in our culture, means to be sympathetic to someone in a time of need. However, the term used in the original text means more of a combination of that and working alongside of them to get them out of what they are in. God doesn't just listen to us and sympathize with us. He gets himself dirty and helps to carry us out of the muck we find ourselves in.

And as he does for us, we are to do for others. We can't be scared of the appearance we might have by loving someone that is looked down upon by the community. No matter how deep a muck some people find themselves in, we need to be like God was to us for them. We need to be willing to get dirty in order to turn their suffering into their salvation. We are the representatives of Christ to the world. Jesus saves, but sometimes he chooses to use us as his hands.

Watch out for the potholes.