Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hook, Line, and Sinker

Indeed, this is our boast, the testimony of our conscience: we have behaved in the world with frankness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God - and all the more toward you. For we write you nothing other than what you can read and also understand; I hope you will understand until the end - as you have already understood us in part - that on the day of the Lord Jesus we are your boast even as you are our boast.
~2 Corinthians 1:12-14

Sometimes I read Paul, and his arrogance and condescension pour out from the text. This cat is too cool for school, called out apart to serve, and deigns to drop by in person or by letter for an occasional drive by advice column.

We call her DevilCat, but her given name is Bast.
A friend, who is a medium, consulted the spirits
and they told her this was my cat.
How do you say no to that?

Mining Paul's gems out of that mess is like trying to just eat the meat out of a bowl of chili. You
might as well just eat the whole thing, cuz you're gonna get pieces of onion and beans, no matter how hard you try to pick it out.

This is amazing chili, by the way.
The last of the leftovers shall be had for lunch.

But if you swallow Paul hook, line, and sinker, you come to these passages where his overconfident lectures give way to incredible love and delight for his communities of care. 

Consider this paragraph from 2nd Corinthians (and consider too, that I take artistic license with scripture--biblical scholars, do what you will with this). I shall paraphrase:

Because God has favored Us, We have been completely authentic with you people.
With the wisdom of God behind Us, We have tailored our letters to you, so that although you are babies in the faith, and not terribly literate, you might understand Our pearls of wisdom.

Gratuitous cat lady picture.
It doesn't make my ill-considered point.
But you are smiling right now, aren't you?

But oh my friends! Look what he says in the last sentence:
I hope you will understand until the end...that on the day of the Lord Jesus we are your boast even as you are our boast.

In the end, here is what we will tell the Lord: 
Do you see who I loved? Do you see who loved me?
I delight in these people, as they have delighted in me!
We have fed each other and clothed each other,
through our most difficult times we have stuck by each other.
Listen, God! Whatever else our transgressions,
we have loved--
and loved deeply!

This is my boast--YOU are my boast!

And that is why I cannot dismiss Paul utterly.
Even though he is a pompous ass of a man.
Even though he uses too many words
in convoluted patterns even the Creator can't untangle.
Even though he uses the Royal We.

Because in the end, Paul would have delighted in me.

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