The Comfortable Words

The “Comfortable Words” are four specific scripture passages. In the Anglican tradition, these verses were meant to be read all together and in this order by the minister right after the confession of sin and absolution. Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, organized these four comfortable words as he did because he wanted the people to understand that Christ was the Good Shepherd, alluring back his lost sheep by the power of his self-sacrificing love.

God’s Invitation in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

God’s Disposition in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

God’s Diagnosis in 1 Timothy 1:15: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

God’s Remedy in 1 John 2:1-2: “But if any one sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

In the Word, On the Go

I joined Champ Thorton to discuss one Bible verse for 10 minutes on his podcast, In the Word, On the Go.

  • 1 John 1:9: In this episode, I unpack this promise: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to frigive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

  • Bonus conversation on 1 John 1:9: In this episode I address the question: “If I’m forgiven, do I need to confess my sins?”

  • 1 Peter 5:6-7: In this episode, I address anxiety as related to this passage: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Trauma and Anglican Liturgy

I was invited to give the second annual Cranmer Lecture, titled “Good Lord, Deliver Us: Trauma and Anglican Liturgy,” at RTS-Orlando. Anglican liturgy contains rich resources for trauma-sensitive ministry. Every individual has experienced trauma or someone close to them has. In the lecture, I explore the numerous spiritual effects of trauma and the hope and healing available that is reflected in the Christ-centered, Scripture-filled liturgy of the Anglican tradition. After the lecture, Dr. Elizabeth Pennock and I discussed the theme more fully. She is an expert in trauma-informed counseling.