November 03, 2014

Witness in Distress

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Praise be to … 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


On April 15, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Sailing for New York City, the captain had hoped to make record time and impress his worldwide audience. Instead, the voyage became an epic maritime tragedy.

On board there were also eight men hired to play classical music for the passengers. As the ship sank, the musicians played on. Remarkably, the men were not crew members, so they had no obligation to stay on board. It seems these brave men saw the need for music to ease the understandable panic.

Near 2:00 a.m. as the ship was about to go under, the men agreed to disband to fend for their lives. But as seven of them walked away, Wallace Hartley began to play “Nearer My God to Thee.” The others returned to join him, perhaps drawn by their own need for comfort. Together they rallied to offer spiritual care needed by more than 1,500 people at the close of their earthly lives. Not one of the musicians survived.

God often uses music to speak lovingly to us in times of distress. What songs or passages of Scripture comfort you? When we are strengthened by the great Comforter, we too can comfort others, bearing witness to him who is even stronger than death.

Almighty God, you raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and you promise us life after death. Comfort us in the trials we face so that hope may overflow from us to those who need it. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Daryl DeKlerk

Daryl DeKlerk pastors a church in Jarvis, Ontario. He is thankful for a sabbatical that enabled him to study the theme of Grace-filled Christian Witness. Daryl and his wife have three young children who keep them on their toes and on their knees in prayer.

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