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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | 2 Corinthians 4:3–6

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (NRSV)

The opening verses of today’s passage from Paul’s correspondence with the early congregation in Corinth seem obscure. Paul writes that “our gospel is veiled.” Apparently in the letters from the Corinthians to Paul, the apostle has been accused of not making the gospel clear. That is a serious charge against anyone who claims the vocation of preacher and teacher!

As one who has confronted my share of non-comprehending looks on Sunday mornings, how did I respond? I was tempted to bear down, striving to strengthen my argument, repeating my particular perspective. But that is not the path that leads through the shadows of uncertainty.

What did Paul do? Like any of us, he sounds a bit defensive at first. His argument, though, soon gives way to the power of a profound biblical image, one that we return to each year in this season of Epiphany: God’s light shining through the shadows, shining in our hearts, granting us the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

In our own searching moments, may we open ourselves to the evocative power of images. May we glimpse the bright light of God’s love, justice, and peace in the life and ministry of the One we seek to follow.

Wondrous, wise God, thank you for the images of our shared faith that open our eyes to your transforming presence. Despite our human flaws and failings, enable us to perceive and proclaim the liberating truth of your gospel through Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Written by Jeffrey Doane, Parish Associate for Older Adults

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