In today’s passage, Paul expresses his deep, deep desire to be a faithful witness to Jesus Christ. Interestingly, Paul has found that this witness is so much more powerful in weakness than in strength; in insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities rather than success. For whenever I am weak, Paul writes, then Christ is strong.
That runs so counter to our culture, even in the church, of celebrity and spin. It runs so counter to the way I often try to present myself, as bigger or better than I really am. It runs counter to the privileges to which I sometimes feel I am entitled. It runs counter to the things I seek in life which are more likely to be about me than about Jesus.
What would it look like for Christians to get off this bigger is better kick, this glitz and glamour kick, and this power kick where culture is shaped not through love or sharing Christ but in attempting to force others to see things our way?
So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, Paul writes, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. That, friends, is a message the church needs to hear today. It’s a message I need to hear. Could it be that you do too?
(BTW, if you memorize Bible verses--and I very much hope you do--may I suggest that 2 Corinthians 12:9 is a great verse for memorization?)