Today's Lectionary Text
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke”—we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
What does it mean to have a “spiritual life?” In today’s passage, Paul addresses several topics, including his suggestion of a “spiritual life,” which is something that “cannot be seen,” yet is “eternal,” which is a “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
In my ministry, I’ve always been captivated by the call to pay attention to the realities of life beyond the physical and what is plain to see. Created in the image of God, we are created not only with a physical being, but also a spiritual being. Just as we live by, nurture and pay attention to our physical lives, we will do well to do the same to our spiritual lives.
Paul challenges us to consider the way we see and look at life. “We LOOK not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen.” How, then, do we do that? One of hockey’s greatest players, Wayne Gretzky, was once asked the secret of his success as a hockey player. Hear what he said: “I skate to where the puck isn’t yet.” Now that will preach!
Perhaps paying attention to our spiritual life involves anticipation, forward thinking and possibility thinking (what Gretzky did in his playing). I believe we honor our spiritual lives when we pay attention to our “inner voice” that speaks of possibilities and dreams, hopes and hurts; not to mention putting into words “how is it with your soul.” Honoring our imagination and intuition may indeed be the work of the Spirit within us. All of this requires a step of trust and courage in what may not (at the moment) be seen. So, as people created as physical and spiritual beings, let us ever enjoy, trust and listen to our God-given spirit. For when we do so, “we do not lose heart.”
-Rev. Rick Saylor,
Clergy and Congregational Coach
Prayer for Reflection
O God, I take time today to step away from my to-do list, my wired world and social media messages. Let me take time to honor my spirit, and in quietness let it speak to me. So be it. AMEN.
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