13 June 2011

"See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!" (v. 2)


When you look at something, you can see it in different ways. Like the duck-rabbit picture, it can appear either one way or the other.

So it is with Paul's life. Look at it one way, and it could look like a failure, an impossible and pointless struggle. Seen through the eyes of faith, however, it is wealth, riches and fulfilment. The wealth is not material, but for Paul it is so deeply sustaining, that he can write of it in these terms: "always rejoicing ... making many rich ... possessing everything" (v. 10).

What is it that makes the difference? These verses come as part of a passage in which Paul reflects on the possible transformation of human life. This transformation is made possible by the generous love of God in Jesus Christ. It is being someone who receives that generous love that changed Paul into someone who can discover joy and wealth, where it seems there was only misery and poverty.

Paul writes to these Christians in the Greek city of Corinth to remind them that God's generous love (God's grace) is for them too. 'Don't accept it in vain' he pleads. The same is true for us. God's grace can change our lives, if we accept it. Now is the time to receive God's generous love, and to let it transform us, and our view of human life.

To Ponder

What can you see of yourself in Paul's words: "We are treated ... as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything" (v. 10)?

To what extent do you tend to see yourself more as sorrowful, or as rejoicing; more as having nothing or as possessing everything?

How will you seize the opportunity of the "acceptable time"?

Bible notes author: The Revd Andrew Lunn

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