A Ministry of Justification 032712
From 2 Corinthians 3:9 comes the title and thoughts of today’s blog post. In reading this verse we might be reminded that the new covenant of spirit sends us on a ministry of justification, rather than a ministry of condemnation.
For some reason it is always easier and more possible to criticize and find fault with someone or some idea than it is to improve upon an idea, or discern what is good about a person or idea. I don’t know exactly what this is, but if you’ve ever watched a courtroom drama on TV or on stage might have noticed that the lawyer first asking questions is nice, helpful and on ‘our’ side. Then comes the lawyer that cross-examines, and picks to pieces whatever truth and justice found in the first lawyer’s questions, and the ‘victim’s’ answers. The second, cross-examining lawyer is indignant, angry, vicious and judgmental, and we usually don’t like such a person or lawyer.
What would it mean if we really accepted all who come to our homes and the doors of our church? It might mean we have meditated with Paul on the meaning of Jesus Christ to a rigid, old-fashioned and half-dead group of bearded, long robed old guys, even if we are theones with long beards and long robes (sorry, ladies!).
Pray for peace,
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Pray with us!
We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
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2 Corinthians 3:4-11
9How can young people keep their way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
10With my whole heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commandments.
11I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.
12Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes.
13With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth.
14I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches.
15I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways.
16I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
8Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears! 9Let all the nations gather together, and let the peoples assemble. Who among them declared this, and foretold to us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to justify them, and let them hear and say, “It is true.” 10You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. 11I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. 12I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses, says the Lord. 13I am God, and also henceforth I am He; there is no one who can deliver from my hand; I work and who can hinder it?
2 Corinthians 3:4-11
4Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God,
6who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, 8how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? 9For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! 10Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; 11for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.