Lent Day 32: Ordinary Problems, Extraordinary Power
2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
In any church community there will be ups and downs. This was true of the church that Paul was writing to at Corinth. They wrestled with the daily struggles of life, but also spiritual challenges of sexuality, money and leadership, and in these and other areas how to be faithful to Christ.
We all need to be reminded that while we have ordinary problems and we are ordinary people, our lives are infused and informed by an extraordinary power that allows us to overcome these challenges over time. Because of the power of the Holy Spirit at our core, we are different people being reshaped, which redefines how we, live, think and operate in the ordinary world.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
This means we are not ordinary people, but peculiar from the world’s perspective. And while we are ordinary in one sense, the power we have been given brings light to our lives and the lives of people we touch in the world around us.
1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
This power that should permeate every area of our being also informs our life together, or it does not matter at all. We need to be reminded that what we have from God to overcome the world is greater than what the world can offer.
1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
As believers we are called to practice the presence of the living Christ in a present tense way. Brueggemann holds us to this commitment. “When that story of Jesus is present tense, we are able to sort out and identify all the empty claims where God’s holiness and God’s power for life do not reside, where God’s power for life is not embodied or enacted.”
Life as a Christian is found in the face of Jesus Christ as we continue to gaze on him and only glance at our problems.
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
Our life is found in the ordinary events of the day to day, as we are filled with the life of Jesus Christ, being transformed into his image, from one degree of glory to another by His Spirit.
“In Jesus Christ, your holiness has touched down in human life, remaking and reordering our values and expectations. Keep us restless and hope-filled and alive in the world, for the world. Amen.” Brueggemann
Brueggemann, Walter. A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent. Kentucky: Westminster John Know Press, 2017.