Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Most of us could identify heroes in our lives or in our society. Often those people are star athletes, entertainers, innovators or politicians. Some are less likely to be noticed - the teacher who helped us, the librarian, a parent, a wise mentor. The Bible speaks of a sort of heroism that doesn’t always look heroic. It is a sort of servanthood which comes and makes a difference.
In 2 Corinthians 11:19-12:9 the apostle Paul, who has often been criticized as being not a real apostle or as lacking a certain sort of flair, describes some of the things which he has endured for the sake of Christ. In short, he bears in his body, and certainly in his mind, the scars of hard labor and many trials for his Savior. Someone speaking with Paul may not have known of his sufferings. He was determined, when he went to Corinth, to know nothing but Christ crucified for sinners. This meant that he would consider his own sufferings to be of little importance.
What heroes do we know of this type? The people who have laid down their lives for Christ, who would also do it again, the people who would care for others above themselves? These people have learned to endure all things that Christ may be pre-eminent. Given the opportunity, they will help us learn this same dependence on Jesus. They have learned, with Paul, that their boasting is in Christ and that His grace is sufficient for them. His power is made perfect in weakness.
Perhaps, as we learn these lessons, God will make us into heroes as well.
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