Thursday, May 15, 2008

2 Corinthians 13:5-14

Pentecost +1 – Year A

2 Corinthians 13:5-14

Here is one of those compare and contrast choices between the tone of the NRSV and The Message.

NRSV: "Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed."

The Message: "You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. I hope the test won't show that we have failed."

In both cases the crux of the matter is Jesus Christ in us. From there things get dicier.

A never-ending argument can be had, both internally and externally, about what an appropriate test is that Jesus Christ within is being revealed without. Paul, evidently, has his litmus testing process. I fall back to Karl Rahner and others who find Jesus Christ to be within each person, "anonymous Christians" if you will. Without magic signs of fishes and crosses and ever-changing code language it becomes next to impossible to be certain about intentions and motivations.

Regardless of any given testing process it will be helpful to focus on verse 10 in the voice of The Message: "The authority the Master (Jesus Christ within) gave me is for putting people together, not taking them apart."

This is a difficult task when folks are not willing to be put together, but it is still a hope held out beyond there any longer being hope, that, even beyond an ending place, we will continue to be put together and find unexpected and undeserved blessings abounding.

So, remember again – Jesus Christ within is before baptismal validation as a starting point, is always in a process of creatively putting together, and will not quit even when beyond some arbitrary ending point. Given this remembrance, how would you evaluate the just stated trinity in light of other trinities you have known?

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