Good morning all!
2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5 (NRSV)
16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18 because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— 3 if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
When I opened the daily scripture this morning, this one was the one that immediately jumped out at me. I didn’t even need to look at the others. There are times when something just pops out at you, aren’t there and you have to listen to that?
I needed this scripture today for a couple of different parts of it….
So we do not lose heart….
There is some really really hard stuff going on at the church that I serve at right now. There has been confrontation and accusations. There has been he said and she said and emails and texts and more meetings today. There is hurtful stuff said and some supportive stuff but of course the hurtful stuff sounds louder and sticks more to my skin and to my dreaming world on a nightly basis. There are questions and rightfully so and conversations that I thought would happen and totally different conversations come out. And I can’t give details but I needed someone to say to my soul….so we do not lose heart…
The decisions were made and are being made because of mission and where God is calling us….if we lose heart, we have lost sight of God. If we give up having the hard conversations and just give up the community, we have lost sight of God. If we just walk away, we are losing sight of where God can work so tremendously. “The weight of glory beyond all measure…”
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in…
An earthly tent. Lately I have been thinking a lot about my own body (being on this Whole30 thing), losing people (other earthly tents) and our world (a larger earthly tent). What interesting imagery! We are here but there is more to come and this is temporary. This situation. This moment. This thing that holds us and seems like it is everything. So there are two ways we can think about it. 1. we can just manage and get through because there is more to come or/and 2. We must enjoy the camping experience to its fullest because this is one grand adventure chalked full of God and small miracles. Paul writes to a church in turmoil that in this tent we groan but I think maybe we should look at each other intentionally and wade through the adventure for today.
He who has prepared us for this very thing is God…
God surrounds me/us. God has prepared me for such a time as this with capacity and resiliency and the narrative of love and mission. We have to keep that narrative up even in times of discontent and disagreement. Amen.