Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Key verse: (7) “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.”
Reflection: The second letter of Paul to the church in Corinth is one of my favorite books in the Bible. In Chapters 3 through 7, the Apostle outlines important aspects of Christian faith and ministry. In today’s text, we are reminded that we are engaged in this ministry by God’s mercy so we don’t lose heart. The struggles of mortal life are real, yet the glory of God still shines through.
In today’s scripture, Paul reminds us that we have this treasure in clay jars. The extraordinary power belongs to God; not to us. God’s light shines out of darkness. It can’t be destroyed by our fear, anxiety, or illness. We are powerless right now to make this pandemic go away. We can prepare for the worst and hope for the best to keep ourselves and those we love safe, but none of us knows if this will be enough. And, we can still share this light that Paul writes about with those we know and those we love. Paul goes on to say that in the face of all that afflicts us, the power of God will sustain us.
We are reminded that:
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down; but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.”
This is the power of faith. No matter what happens to us, we cling to the extraordinary power of God to do more than we can. This kind of faith won’t spare us from facing trials in life, but it will sustain us when the storms come. So, let’s accept we are clay jars – easily broken. Let’s look for this light of Christ shining through the cracks in our lives. Let’s pay attention to how we might share this extraordinary light and love with others despite our own anxiety, fear and grief. Let’s help each other along the way and let the life we receive from Jesus give us hope.
Prayer: Gracious God, we give thanks that you have given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to shine like a light of hope in our lives. Help us to see that this extraordinary power comes from you and is not something we control. Help us accept our own mortality and brokenness in order that we might more fully lean on you. Keep us safe and calm our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].