July 4

2 Corinthians 12:2-5

“I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows…” vs. 2

Sometimes it would be nice to be able to quiz Paul about some of the things he wrote…and this is one of those moments. It’s generally accepted that he is referring here to an experience that he had some years before, a deeply spiritual experience where he got a glimpse of the third heaven or Paradise. It’s impossible to know what happened…this is the only place he speaks of it…and it seems he did that quite deliberately. He didn’t want anyone to think he was boasting! Evidently there were quite a number of super-Christians in Corinth who didn’t hesitate to let everyone know about their profound spiritual experiences. We know the type! These are the folks we run across from time to time who seem to have it all together in their God relationship. They exude piety to the core of their being and almost always leave us feeling like we’re spiritual midgets. Paul knew such types…and in this passage tells them that he could tell a story that would top any of theirs…but he chooses not too. Instead he speaks only of his weaknesses…because that’s how we connect with one another. It’s our weaknesses that bind us together and not our strengths! And as we have courage to share our flaws, our congregations become our homes!

Thought for the Day: My most profound spiritual experience!

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