Daily reading: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
Monday June 20, 2016

Focus passage: All of these new things are from god, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation.  2 Corinthians 5:18

Corinth was a diverse port city and the congregation to which Paul writes is fractured not only along class lines but also along former religious lines.  It had a strong mixture of both Jews and Gentiles.  The odds seemed to be stacked against them, with so much to overcome it shouldn’t surprise us that they had so many challenges in following Christ in community. While it had from the start the most to lose, it also had the most to gain. 
So, Paul writes to them a letter teaching them to comfort one another in their sorrow, to practice the spiritual discipline of forgiveness, to acknowledge that even though we might feel broken or cracked like a clay vessel God will use those cracks to shine the light of Christ out of to transform their community and world and to in all things walk by faith and not by sight. 
Paul reminds the community in Corinth that it is only through the message of Christ can they truly be transformed.  While they had found numerous ways to divide, even with factions turning against Paul, full of pain and hurt and division, Paul speaks the words of reconciliation that only come from the grace of God through Christ Jesus.
Prayer: God we know that it is only through you that the world can be reconciled to you and to one another.  It seems impossible with news of violence beyond imagining, in words that break and split us apart, help us to find a way forward through your grace and love.  Help us to be agents of your peace.  Lead us toward reconciliation.  Through you all things are possible.  Amen.


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