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Found and Refound

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


As a child of the ’70s, I grew up listening to rock music. Mostly my taste ran to the 8-track tapes I’d listen to in my brother Greg’s ‘64 Chevy Impala, Aerosmith, Tin Lizzy, and of course, Alice Cooper. His stunts on stage–boa constrictor and guillotines–and the outlandish lyrics of the music–tame by today’s standard–were meant to shock (and rock). As a teenage struggling Christian, I thought Alice was the embodiment of sex, drugs, and rock and roll–and I confess the lure intrigued me.


Later, I learned that Alice, born Vincent Damon Furnier, had grown up in a Christian home–he was a PK (preacher’s kid), and his grandfather an evangelist. But like many of us, myself included, he lost his way. He lived the hard–often deadly–life of a rock and roller until one day, at 37 years old, he woke up vomiting blood and was taken to the hospital. The doctors were blunt, “quit drinking or die.” This brush with death returned him to his faith.


While our stories of finding–and refinding–Christ may not be as dramatic as Furnier’s, we have all experienced Christ’s compassion and comfort. In Jesus’ going to the cross and dying for our sins, we have experienced God’s great gift of mercy, and through the Holy Spirit, we know God’s solace. Even when we lose our way–though sometimes it may take a while–by God’s prevenient grace, we recall his astounding love for us and return to what we thought was lost.


In a March 27, 2018, interview with Christian Today magazine, Fournier is quoted, “I’m a new creature now. Don’t judge Alice by what he used to be. Praise God for what I am now.” By God’s grace, we can all make the same claim–simply substitute Alice with our names.


There’s the second part of the sentence (v. 4) we can’t overlook, “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Yes, God is constantly calling, but we play an active role as his followers. As benefactors of God’s grace, we must extend that same grace to others. We are to listen, pray, and support others as others have done for us. We may never know all the family and friends praying for us during our times of lostness.


Gracious and loving Father, we humbly thank and praise you for your compassion and comfort. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, by whom we are saved. Thank you for filling us with the Holy Spirit, which calls us to you and guides us. We confess that, at times, we have wandered; our souls have strayed from your presence but never from your grace. Thank you for calling us back to you. Please help us to help others that are lost. May we show them the same compassion and comfort you show us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.


Blessings,

Pastor Tim


Writer, Christian Today staff. Alice Cooper on Being Saved by Faith and Why He Can Be Both a Christian and a Rock Star, 27 Mar. 2018, www.christiantoday.com/article/alice-cooper-on-being-saved-by-faith-and-why-he-can-be-both-a-christian-and-a-rock-star/127858.htm.



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