Light that Carries a Shadow

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2 Corinthians 4:1-15

The Light and Darkness of Resurrection Life
We’re focusing on the light of Resurrection life. John tells of the Logos, creator of life, light shining in darkness, showing God’s glory, full of grace and truth. It all sounds very good, but he leads us through all that Jesus endured into crucifixion and then resurrection.
Resurrection is a challenge to believe as an event – like Thomas. But that’s just the start. Once I know it’s real, then comes the challenge of seeing everything through its lens. Resurrection life is new, in Jesus: the union of human physical life with God’s life. But it is life on the other side of death, incorporating death, conquering death. But God brings it into our world, our history in Jesus so that it shapes our life, values, and purposes, now.
In incarnation, Jesus brings God’s life into ours, takes our limitations – humble, suffering, all the signs of mortality we experience – dies with us. In resurrection, he takes our life into God’s life, shows how great God’s love is, builds hope and meaning into our life. Our lives now are shaped by the love embodied in his cross and the vibrant hope of his Life.

The Spirit’s Way of Transformation

2 Corinthians 3:1-18

Our Faces Unveiled to God’s Spirit and to Each Other

Last week we saw the whole life of God working by the Spirit in our lives to transform both the way we live now and as the creative power of new creation in the resurrection. Following Jesus, Paul reflects a lot on how he had seen the Spirit working in the lives of believers, even when they are manifesting difficult problems. His experience with the Spirit’s work has given him great confidence and boldness with all kinds of people. In 2 Cor 3:16-18 is a vision of that transforming process set in a meditation on scripture. But look at the image. A community of people, all engaged with God’s Spirit, who gives them freedom and boldness before God and with each other. Their faces (their whole person, identity, image) open to God and each other. They’re focused on seeing the reality, the glory of the Lord Jesus, who is the face / image of God and the true human. As they see it they are transformed into that image, ever increasing in the way they experience that reality/glory. But what’s in front of them is the mirror of Jesus in each other as the Spirit works in those lives to shape, challenge and embolden them toward the life given in Jesus.