Friday, 13 August 2010

Apostolic church? We're all a load of crackpots!

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
(2 Corinthians 4:7)
Paul and his apostolic team carried a power that was over and above any other power in existence. An all-surpassing power of such mind-blowing proportions. A treasure above all treasures. The very light of Christ.

But he was painfully aware of his weakness. 'Jars of clay,' he says. Fragile, earthen vessels. Weak, breakable. Broken. Wounded, hurting. Hurt.


Why should those who carry such power be vulnerable? Why are we who carry that same light so exposed? Surely we should be stronger, shielded, impervious to the cracks and knocks and jarrings of life. Surely power should mean protection. But no. Power means pain.

Paul's next breath tells that he was hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down. But he was NOT crushed, NOT in despair, NOT abandoned, NOT destroyed (vv. 8-9).

Done over but NOT done in.

There's something about those who carry the life of Christ that is unstoppable. A hidden treasure unsurpassable. A light unsnuffable. An unrivalled, overcoming power that comes not from the person, but from God.

Strong vessels hide their contents; cracked pots show it. And that's the point. God shows his power in weakness. Is there any greater presentation of God's power and character than that of Jesus, bruised, beaten, wretched, wounded, hanging dying on a cross? Is there any better way for God to show his power in my life, in your life, than for us to suffer and yet shine? That is the way of the cross. Always, in Paul's next words, 'carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.' (v.10) This is the essence of apostolic church.

Currently, I'm tired but not negative; I'm failing but not losing; I'm damaged but not relenting. What are you? What are you NOT, my brother, my sister, my fellow crackpot?

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