URC Daily Devotion Wednesday 24th April 2024

Wednesday 24th April 2024
 
Reading 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 

Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

Reflection

In recent weeks I have had a few thorns and splinters from the garden in my hands and I confess they have been extremely irritating and painful when they won’t come out. This passage from the Bible is famous and often debated as to what exactly St. Paul was talking about. For our purposes today suffice to say we don’t actually know and you may even be wondering what this might have to do with evangelism at all.

Well here’s the thing though, perhaps a big reason that we struggle so much with sharing the good news is that we start thinking that we must have all the correct answers to life and its meaning and also that we don’t want to be seen as hypocrites.

This is true on a personal level and on a corporate church level in that let’s be honest the Church and its representatives and leaders have regularly messed up, gone astray and, worse still, abused and damaged people. This painful truth should humble and anger us but should not, I suggest, prevent us from finding our authentic voice in evangelism. I can think of many occasions when sharing my doubts and struggles and the far from perfect reality that is the Church, has actually brought about breakthroughs with people and made a connection with them and their situation.  

There is a great old song which has been rerecorded several times called ‘I’m just a nobody’ which tells a story and includes the refrain “I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody, about somebody, who can save anybody.” These words have stayed with me and come into my mind when I feel that I am too inadequate or messed up to tell others about Jesus. 

If this sounds like you today and that evangelism has become quite a hardship then God’s word to St. Paul should encourage and empower you ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness’.

Prayer

Gracious God who for our sake became weak, 
make me more content knowing 
that the power of Christ dwells in me. 
Sharing the good news seems so hard 
and complicated these days
but your perfect love casts out my fear. 
I praise you that you have reminded me
that my testimony and witness 
can be from this place of vulnerability 
rather than human power.  
Come Holy Spirit, 
fill the hearts of your faithful.

 

Today’s writer

The Revd Eddie Boon is the Thames North Synod Discipleship Enabler. 

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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