Thursday, June 7, 2018

Lectionary 10 B - 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 is found in the occasional services book and is suggested for use in times of illness or when one is near death. I tried to read these words to a friend and colleague at Harris Hospital in July of 2007 a few days before he died. I don’t know what I was thinking. His “slight and momentary affliction” was neither slight nor momentary and witnessing his body wracked in pain mocked these words meant for comfort. As I began to sob uncontrollably Pastor Tom stopped me with a hand on my shoulder and despite the obvious pain he was enduring said, “It’s alright Phil. The gospel I’ve preached my whole life was good enough for me then and it’s good enough for me now. I’m not afraid. And when I get there I’ll mention your name.” I can never read these verses without thinking of that day and I’m grateful for the grace extended to me by one who was infinitely more courageous and faithful than I am which is why I’m glad Saint Tom intercedes for me even now though he might need to do more than mention my name. Just sayin. Then again Jesus is the One who did the heavy lifting for both St. Tom and me so that even our “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me” moments are ultimately slight and momentary. So I guess I'll see you when I get there, Tom. 

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