As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
last sunday i preached on this text, suggesting that the church ought to be getting busy doing the work we are called to be doing right now. i talked about how there are a bunch of very ambiguous words in our normal conversation, such as "later," "soon," and "maybe." these words can be frustrating at times, as we try to navigate through people's expectations and deadlines that are often wrapped in ambiguity. and that's why i love this little section of 2 Corinthians. it isn't ambiguous. it is very clear. NOW. now is not an ambiguous word. as i said in my sermon on sunday, if i say, "get over here, now!" to my kids, they understand exactly what i mean. no interpretation needed. likewise, it seems pretty clear that this passage of scripture isn't leaving it up to our imaginations when we ought to making sure that God's grace isn't being recieved in vain. not later. not at some point down the road. not tomorrow. now.
reminds me of robin williams standing on his desk with barbaric yawps and whispering in those boys' ears: "carpe diem. sieze the day."
in another book i'm reading today's thought had to do with 'redefining normal," in terms of standing up against cultural prejudices and norms and determining to welcome the stranger, love the outcast, and embrace the wounded. i found my spirit resonating with that message, because that is what i see exemplified by Jesus in the Bible.
but then the Holy Spirit had to go and convict me: well then, do it. seize the day. you are so moved by loving the outcasts and welcoming the stranger? you want to tear down walls of racism and sexism and ageism and classism and whatever else-ism? when will you do it? tomorrow? when you're older? when you're wiser? when you've got a bigger budget? now is the day of salvation. now.
in my head, the Holy Spirit talks in purple.
many christians, when they think of this verse from 2 corinthians, think of those "turn or burn" signs on the highway in the middle of cornfields in pennsylvania.
but i don't see it that way. instead of picturing standing on the brink of eternity trying to make a decision, try to imagine standing on your desk. or on your car. or anything out of the normal, just to get a different perspective on life. and see things a little differently. and realize that the world isn't yet the way God wants it. we still have a lot of work to do to build this kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. we have a lot of people to love, and a ton of walls to tear down. and we can't wait to do it. the time is now. keep this song in your head today, and being to seize the day.