Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. (NLT)
The Christian church has rightly been called a community of the broken-hearted. Not because everyone in it is in the pits. Not because there is no joy and laughter and celebration within it. Rather because we can bank on the fact that there are members who are suffering, who need comfort and healing. And in a deeper sense, we are all broken because we admit we so badly need the grace of God to overcome our self-centredness.
And so the church cannot afford to be unreal in the sense that it only wants to hear the great news of healing and victory. Alongside such welcome news we need to hear the unsettling news of problems unresolved, of wounds that are taking a long time to heal, of relationships that resist mending.
Such brokenness amidst the healing means our churches are ambiguous places where we weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. And such brokenness is yet another reminder of our dependence on the wide mercies of God.
Henri Nouwen puts it well: “A Christian community is therefore a healing community, not because all wounds are healed or all pain alleviated, but because wounds and pains become openings or occasions for a new vision.”