One day last week during Morning Prayer we read 2 Corinthians 4 together, and I was so encouraged, especially by verse 17, where the Apostle Paul is talking about how God is at work even in the midst of suffering and decay. He says:
“This slight and momentary trouble of ours is producing a weight of glory, passing and surpassing everything, lasting forever.”
Yes, death and destruction and pandemics and systemic racism are real, and we must face these realities head-on, but LIFE is also at work! Because of the resurrection of Jesus, death has already been defeated, and has, in the providence of God, been conscripted into the service of life!
So we can acknowledge the reality of suffering without losing hope, for while we continue to feel the grief of what we are losing in this pandemic (our normal “back to school” rituals at this time of year, for example), we know that a weighty glory is being produced through our tears. Nothing is forgotten, nothing is wasted. God gathers up every minute of our human experience, and conscripts it all into the production of glory, an ultimate goodness for us who love him.
Let’s not give in to despair or numbness in this season. Let’s continue to pray and contend and discern together how best to organize ourselves to be the church for each other and our neighbors, because this slight and momentary trouble of ours is producing a weight of glory, passing and surpassing everything, lasting forever.
And, of course, to that end, here are the curated links for this week:
- We continue our podcast series on spiritual formation by talking with Jim Wilder about how to cultivate a community of transformation by developing loving attachment to God together.
- The pandemic is increasing loneliness among us… and Ken Wytsma reminds us that Jesus experienced loneliness, too. “You are not alone. Christ knows your suffering and has overcome this world.”
- Chris Morton outlines 3 things churches must do to survive the pandemic.
- Mike Frost writes about the “friendlessness” of modern churches, and how it is contributing to the decline and death of churches in this pandemic.
That’s all for this week, [FIRST NAME GOES HERE]. I leave you with this prayer for parents of school-aged children, from David Taylor:
Oh Lord, you who promise to guide us through the wilderness and to protect us through the storm, we ask that you would make us wise where we cannot clearly see the way forward, make us brave where we feel afraid, make us strong in the face of our weakness, and make possible what to us seems impossible, so that we might joyfully entrust ourselves and our children into your tender care in these trying and troubling times. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Ben S [for Gravity Leadership]
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