2 Corinthians 1:5-7
Sometimes the church pretends to be a gathering of people who have it all together. We are reluctant to talk about hardships and treat some of those problems as secrets to be hidden. We hide honest feelings and try to look our best—as if we are forever meeting our new in-laws.
That kind of pretense is deadly to the church. Insincerity becomes second nature. If we only pretend to be the church, we never experience the church. When we pretend we’re immune to the world’s problems, we deny the grace that makes us God’s people. Henri Nouwen writes:
Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?” When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.
Though wounded by the Corinthians, Paul refuses to let the brokenness he feels become the last word in their relationship. His unshaken(v. 7) hope for the church rests on God’s work in the world through Christ and within us. Nouwen continues, “Jesus is God’s wounded healer: through his wounds we are healed. Jesus’ suffering and death brought joy and life. His humiliation brought glory; his rejection brought a community of love. As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring healing to others.”
Some who dismiss the church make pretense or hypocrisy a major reason why they do. But an experience of Grace that meets us in our brokenness and leads us to hope, healing, and love is hard to reject .
When has Grace met you in your brokenness? How do you share that?
God, may we remember who we are. May we remember that you are the one who restores us. May your grace make us gracious people. Amen.