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2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Lent 4C

There are Sundays when nearly all of us feel like the Spirit inspired the Scriptures’ authors to address the day’s headlines. This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson is one of those times. As I write this Commentary, Russia continues to escalate its assault on Ukraine and its people. Its troops recently bombed a maternity and children’ hospital,…

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2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2

Last Epiphany C

Some biblical texts hit so close to home that their proclaimers find them hard to proclaim. 2 Corinthians 3 and 4 is one of those texts. I can’t read this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson without seeing in my mind’s eye dear people like Bill and Carl, as well as Sharon, Ashley*, and countless others. I, honestly,…

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2 Corinthians 12:2-10

Proper 9B

[God’s] power is made perfect in weakness might be one of the most appropriate and hopeful things the inspired Paul could say to his 2021 hearers. After all, in the past 18 months we’ve surely learned if not been reminded that we are weak. Among the countless reasons why the COVID-19 pandemic may have proven…

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2 Corinthians 8:7-15

Proper 8B

This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s proclaimers come, in a sense, with hands outstretched as we speak on giving. Yet if we’re going to do so, we’d better come up with some good reasons. So why should we preach or teach on what Paul calls “the grace of giving” (7b)? “What’s the matter?” some of our hearers…

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2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Proper 7B

2 Corinthians 6 virtually drips with pathos. It reveals the heart of an apostle who has been both reconciled to God and invites others to be reconciled to God, but has been stonewalled by people to whom he longs to be reconciled. While God has graciously reconciled Paul to himself, Paul’s friends in Corinth have…

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2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17

Proper 6B

The end of Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson has taken on perhaps extra poignancy over the past fifteen months or so. That’s partly because, at least in the United States, the global pandemic, political partisanship and struggles for racial justice have added new chapters to the story of what its verse 16 calls “a worldly point of…

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2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Proper 5B

The COVID-19 global pandemic has taken away more things than we can count. It has robbed countless people of their lives and livelihoods, as well as mental and physical health. But one loss that’s easy to overlook is our loss of funerals and memorial services that are attended by more than about 10-15 people. That…

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2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Epiphany 6B

This text has taken on a very personal character for members of my church, its food pantry ministry and me, especially in the past ten months. After all, 2 Corinthians 4’s description of the “veiled” nature of the gospel wasn’t, at least originally, alluding to all non-Christians. Chapter 3 makes it quite clear that Paul…

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2 Corinthians 13:11-13 (14)

Trinity Sunday A

The Revised Common Lectionary’s choice of this Sunday’s particular Epistolary Lesson is rather quirky. Of course, at one level, we get it. On what we’ve designated as Trinity Sunday, this Lesson contains a stirring and lovely benediction that flows from all the members of the Trinity. Yet the choice of this passage from 2 Corinthians…

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Four Pages: All-Surpassing Power

This sermon was preached at the Calvin Symposium on Worship, January 30 & 31, 2014 Theme:    God’s all-surpassing power is our hope in every weakness. Doctrine:    Hope Image:    Jars of Clay Need:      To own that we are fragile & ordinary. Mission:    To celebrate that God’s all-surpassing power is enough. Introduction to Scripture Brothers and…

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