“Word for Today” – 2 Corinthians 3 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com

March 2, 2009 at 5:45 am Leave a comment

Last weekend was the weekend of the Oscars.  And although the popularity and the ratings of this perennial awards powerhouse has been slowly but surely waning, winning one of these gold-plated britannium statues is still a coveted Tinsel Town status symbol.  Indeed, even presenting one of these awards is considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be missed.  That’s why when, according to Hollywood “insider” reporters, some actors and actresses such as Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, and George Clooney refused to present at this year’s Academy Awards, the producers were less than thrilled.  After all, presenting at the Oscars is still regarded as a high honor, even if it’s not quite the same as actually winning an Oscar.

In our reading for today from 2 Corinthians 3, Paul, unlike many Hollywood elites, marvels at the prospect that he would get to be a “presenter” at an awards show hosted by none other than God himself.  Paul writes, “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (verse 3).  Paul says that Christ has won some awards.  And these awards are much more than mere gold-plated britannium statues; rather, these awards are living, breathing, flesh and blood human beings.  These awards are none other than you and me.  Because we, as Christians, rather than being awarded to Satan and his wicked minions because of our sin, are awarded to Christ and his angels because of his work on the cross.  We, as Christians, are the eternal awards of Christ, presented to him finally and wholly on the Last Day.

But just like any good awards show, there needs to be some presenters.  And here’s the transcendent privilege in this divine awards show that so thrills Paul:  he gets to be a presenter.  He gets to present an award of human beings to none other than Christ himself.  Can you imagine?  Presenting an award like this to Jesus?  This is Paul’s privilege.  This is Paul’s honor.  This is Paul’s boast.  And this is why Paul writes to the Corinthians, “You are a letter from Christ!  You are an award for Christ!  And you know what?  I get to deliver you to Christ. I have the high honor and distinct privilege of presenting you to the Lord.”  Paul speaks similarly later in this same letter when he writes:  “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” (2 Corinthians 11:2).  Paul is keenly aware of the distinct honor and high privilege that he has in presenting those under his care to Christ on the Last Day.

Like Paul, you have a similar privilege.  You have a similar commissioning.  The truth of the matter is, you can never “win” anybody for Christ.  The winning of human beings has already been accomplished by Christ through his work on the cross.  But although you cannot win anybody for Christ, you, like Paul, can present people to Christ.  People that you have befriended with Christ’s love.  People that you have helped in Jesus’ name.  People that you have shared the gospel with.  These are all people who you can present to Christ on the Last Day, saying, “Here’s another award for you, Jesus.  But more than a mere award, here’s another person for you.  A person you have won by your forgiveness.  A person you have loved by your grace.”

And so, who will you have to present to Jesus on the Last Day?  My prayer for you today is that you, along with Paul, can revel in the distinct privilege and high honor that you have in being one of God’s many “presenters.”  Because you have the distinct privilege and high honor of presenting the most precious thing of all to Jesus:  others.

Entry filed under: Word for Today.

“Word for Today” – 2 Corinthians 2 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com “Word for Today” – 2 Corinthians 4 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com

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