Read 2 Corinthians 5.20b–6.10

                We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.  For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!  We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,  beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see–we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

 

From Rev. Joshua Patty, Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Fairmont

                Paul gives a conversion sermon to people who’ve already become Christians.  But their actions do not always match a Christian identity.  How often do we worry people will use our Christian values against us, guilting us into giving a contribution or an endorsement?  How often do we worry that being a Christian will get in the way of getting the job we want, driving the car we want, dating who we want, or saying what we want when we want? In other words, how often do we hold back?

                Paul seeks to convert us from being afraid of Christ to embracing Christ.  Look, he says, I faced hardships and poverty, but in Christ I am alive and rich beyond measure.  You can have this too, he says.  Now is the time; now is the day!

Reconcile me to you, O God.
Help me to turn away from human pride and seek
the reputation of your name and the riches of your righteousness.
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