Lectionary Year B
June 22, 2003

2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals

(JFC) A proclamation from this passage might seek to clarify some of God's grace and how we observe/discern it, approach it and take advantage of it, realistically today.

B. Describing the Audience

(JFC) Any congregation needing a clearer view of God's grace can appreciate this proclamation of this part of God's Word.

C. Address

(JFC) A sermon entitled for this working draft, "On the Way to God's Grace"

God is good to us, much more than we could ever deserve.

I. God's Grace
A. God's grace comes in "the day of salvation". Deliverance, freedom (swthri,a) is a frequent topic addressed in both Testaments. God hears Paul's prayers and ours.

B. God's grace comes to the Corinthians, "now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation." For us, the time is now as well. God gives us one another with whom to share life.

II. Paul's Journey and Ours
Paul certainly had some hard times on his journeys and throughout his ministry. See Acts 14:19, 16:19-24, 19:29f and 21:2fff recording some of the mistreatment Paul encountered and endured. So, too, do we, to be sure, face hardships. Longfellow's "The Rainy Day" acknowledges some dreariness and calls for some "Be still sad heart! and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining . . ." And so, Paul had some good times, as well. And, we do, too, countless good times. Like the Apostle's, our life's journey goes through some good times, even some silver linings, too. See Romans 12:9 and 13:12, Galatians 5:22f, I Timothy 1:5 and I Peter 1:22, some of Paul's good times and positive reputation.

III. Responses
A. The Corinthians are told to loosen up (platu,nw "to make broad, enlarge") to open wide and to be more open hearted, perhaps even to stand up, take a stand and speak out.

B. Our responses to this part of God's Word are for us, too, to be more open, to chill out and to loosen up, to relax as well as speak out.

God's undeserved love comes to us in Christ and through the Holy Spirit every day we live. Paul encountered it daily, as well. We get more than our deserts of God's merciful peace, too. We tell God, "Thank You" by our obedience and faith development.

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