Today’s Scriptures: Lectionary selections from the Revised Common Lectionary Year C
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
Entering the third week of Advent, we begin to focus on joy. Today’s passages focus on the joy that comes from participation in the work of God. The passage in 2 Corinthians relates the activities of two churches – one with great blessings and one with great need. Their responses to the challenges before them told much about the church’s passion.
The church facing challenge and struggle, participated at and above their means in the work of the new ministry. The Macedonian churches maintained the “abundant joy” despite the challenges they faced as they were eager to do God’s work. Joy overcame oppression.
The Corinthians, while being blessed with abundance, gave well; however, the author implies that the intention behind the giving did not match the joy of the church at Macedonia. The passage implies that they resented supporting other churches in their need thus resented doing the work of God.
The concept of social justice permeates each of the passages today, but it dominates the Corinthians passage. Regardless of our means, God holds us responsible for one another. We are to care for one another to make sure needs (not wants, but NEEDS) are met. That is the work of God: the more deeply we involve ourselves in it, the greater the joy we achieve.
Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org