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 three-year lectionary.
Is the Christian life about the Christian? Our Epistle reading from 2 Corinthians 3 and 4 says quite clearly that it is not about us, but about Jesus, the Christ. The message of the Gospel is all about mercy, forgiveness, and grace. While that mercy has been shown to us, the forgiveness has been applied to us, and the grace is spread to the world through us, it is decidedly not about us. It’s about Christ crucified for us.
In 4:3 Paul observes that sometimes the Gospel is veiled to people. Those are the people who are perishing. They have been blinded by this world and the powers of this world so that they cannot see the grace of God. They are unable to see the glory of God. These are people who look at the Christian, with all his faults, all his sins, all his failures, and reject the Christ. Paul would point people to Jesus, not to himself. He knows his own sin. He knows that he is unworthy of the grace of God. If anyone wishes to be set up for failure, he need do no more than try to build his hope for salvation on the example of a Christian. Such an example will always let us down. It will drive us away from the Christ. On the contrary, Paul says, he will direct people to Jesus.
It is in Jesus that we find the true gospel. It is in him that we can come face to face with the mercy, the grace, the forgiveness which we need. Let the Christian life be all about the Christ. He is the only hope for the unbelieving world.
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