2 Corinthians 5:6-15
"Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad. That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do."
- 2 Corinthians 5:9b-13 MSG
When I was in High School, I couldn’t stand my fellow female classmates. Not all of them, but a lot of them. So many would smile and be nice to your face but work actively behind your back to poke fun, belittle or hold grudges. There were many days I wished the girls would handle things like the guys, by duking it out, coming to a resolution and then remaining friends.
Our Scripture passage for today reminds us how far Paul would go for the believers at Corinth. Paul was willing to act crazy for God and yet be so serious about the Gospel for the sake of the people. He had given his whole life and risked much so that others could hear, believe in Jesus Christ and live as a follower and disciple of him.
There were times when it was hard to cheerfully please God. Paul was arrested and imprisoned more than once and yet he praised God just as much from prison as out of it. He sang songs of praise to God when he had enough food and when he lacked it, in jail and out of jail, when things were going well and when things were difficult.
Continually Paul thought about how well he was preparing the people for the days when Christ would return, when they would stand before the judgment seat of God and would need to account for their actions. We may wonder today what that would be like, just like Paul did.
Are we all in too? We are taught to love God and our neighbor and yet we find it can be difficult to love and be loved. There are days I wonder if this idea of preparing for the hour when we will approach the throne of grace as a moment we would prefer would never arrive. Still, we seek to hear on that day, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. May our days together prepare us for that day and remind us that God is calling for us to live into God’s will and be all in with our Lord and our God.
Prayer: O Lord our God, we thank you for your preparations and call to follow you. Help us to ready our hearts, minds and spirits go where you lead. May we respond in love and grace, by the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Rev. Laura C. Kelsey, Author
Rev. Kelsey is proud to pastor the First Presbyterian Church of Pontiac, MI. Together with the faithful and loving worshipping community at FPC. she enjoys sharing God's Word with others, working to help folks experience God's love and discern their direction in life, and lovingly reach out to the greater Pontiac community.