One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human. Unlike us. Insulated from the cares, concerns, despairs, and discouragements that befall us merely mortal disciples of Christ. But that just isn’t true.

Case in point: the Apostle Paul, writing another letter to his beloved friends at the church he helped start in the city of Corinth:

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death….You also must help us by prayer…
(2 Corinthians 8:8-9, 11; ESV)

And it doesn’t stop there. Throughout this letter you can feel Paul’s pain, brought on by strained relationships and ministerial attack, wounds that go deeper precisely because he has so willingly opened up his heart and his life (2 Corinthians 6:11 and context) to the very people now hurting him.

How does one respond in such circumstances? What do the realities of Jesus and his Good News have to do with such things?

This week, we read and dive into and prayerfully meditate on Paul’s deeply vulnerable letter to the church at Corinth. I am praying God gives us great insights as we do, in preparation for our study this coming Sunday morning. For further study, check out the resource page on this letter that The Bible Project has produced.

Looking forward to Sunday together,

Pastor Matthew