Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Luminous Gospel that lights up the faithful.2 Corinthians 4:1-6
The God of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers.......made his light shine in our hearts to give us light. Vs 4-6
We live not by means of life, but by the light of the Gospel burned up in Christ. St. Paul loved the Church at Corinth as he did with all the other churches he founded. Corinth had a mixed, cosmopolitan populace, and more religious shrines than any other city-states where St. Paul preached. But those religious shrines had more permissive provisions than formative teachings. With its cultural diversity, wealth, paganism, and infamous debauchery, Corinth was perhaps not the place onlookers would have expected the Church to flourish. Yet it was precisely here that St. Paul enjoyed one of his most successful ministries - and here that he experienced some of his greatest challenges (NIV- Cultural background study Bible). It is not necessary that we enjoy our life in our most comfortable contexts, but it might be in the most crucial and crisis times.
'The god of this age has blinded the eyes...'(v 4). Rites and rituals of the shrines had been set in a way that permitted everything and sanctioned all ways of life, so the people who had never witnessed the light of the Gospel had no clue that they were heading in the wrong direction. The light of the sin had become too bright to see the sin, sometimes sinful ways are brighter than sublime life. The god of the age keeps changing his mask and magic from time to time, and has no permanent form and figure. The god of the age can only blind those who do not believe that God can still work in their lives. Blindness created by the god of age can be quelled only when faith in Christ starts growing in our minds. The only way to overcome the high beam light of worldliness is to be lighted up by the Word of God. The Corinthian Church was neither an island nor a stand-alone entity, nor a puritan group, but was very much in the context, of sharing social activities with the people of the city. Paul didn't walk away from the city seeing its way of the world but wanted to bring the Word to them. It took a long time for the Corinthian Church to coordinate its life with other churches around in the then Graco-Roman world.
' For God Who said, ' let the light shine out of the darkness.’ (v 6). Too much light results in confusion and blindness rather than clarity. We become worldly at times not because we want to, but because we are blinded by the irresistible intensity of sin. It is amazing to meditate upon Paul’s quote, ' Let light shine out of darkness ' with respect to the references in Genesis 1:3 and Isaiah 9:1,2. In Genesis 1:3, the light referred to is not from heaven but from chaos and disorder. In Isaiah 9:2 ‘great light' implies 'people walking in darkness '. God doesn't bring the light from the metaphysical world but from within. The Corinthian Church where believers had no exemplary life (lawsuits among believers 6:1, sexual immorality 6:18-20) had been lighted up over time.
The Light of God was shown from the darkness of Corinth. Corinthians were completely blind to the truth until God broke through the darkness. In fact, Paul was struck with literal blindness until God opened his eyes to the new worldview. Both blindness and light were symbolic to change the track.
Our light is not elsewhere but within, within our family, relations, Parish, etc.
Darkness will go away on its own as the light of faith is nurtured in leaps and bonds.
Rev Eapen Mathew
Vicar, Sydney Mar Church.