Reflection: To be a Christian involves both worshipping Jesus and following his way. When Jesus walked a path of power in weakness, he left us an example.
We started this devotion by reading from the book of 2 Corinthians. 2 Corinthians is addressed to the city of Corinth, a city well-known for its love of status and honour. This was a town where fame was a currency and you earnt it through being impressive in wealth and speech.
It was into this city the good news of a king whose glory is established on a cross came. This message is ‘the foolishness of God’. You can’t make the gospel look “Corinthian” without emptying the cross of its power. The gospel will not fit worldly paradigms, because if the gospel is true then everything we thought about power and influence is wrong. The kingdom of God is an upside-down kingdom, where the last shall be first and the greatest among you shall be your servant.
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul shows that being conformed to Christ means experiencing weakness. But note that weakness is not powerlessness. Paul does not speak as a victim, who cries out with despair that his life and actions are ineffectual. If you are in Christ, power and weakness are not opposites – rather they hold together.
Right at this moment we feel our vulnerability acutely. To name that, to confess that, is not a downer on your faith, it is at the centre of our faith. We are hard pressed, we are perplexed, we are struck down. But we are not crushed, despairing, abandoned or destroyed.
Many of us think that our weakness disqualifies us from being effective for God. We try and neutralize our fragility with all the vigour we use disinfectant wipes on dirty tables. But we are meant to be jars of clay, pointing people to God and not ourselves.
Question: Have you ever thought your weaknesses stop you from being an effective servant of God?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for making me a jar of clay. I want people to see that the power in my life comes from you and not myself. I want Jesus to be revealed through everything I do, even those moments when I feel fragile. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.