IT’S NOT ABOUT “US”
“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor 4: 1-6)
It’s not about us, St. Paul reminds us, about the whole enterprise of sharing “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” in our world. Thus “we do not lose heart,” concerning our own fallings-short of that light, because “what we preach is not ourselves,” – or shouldn’t be, anyway. In his deep humility, the great Apostle to the Gentiles calls his own heart “darkness,” when he explains that “it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts…”
So let me not obscure “the glory of God in the face of Christ,” whenever I am called to share it with others, with my own merely-human stuff. I mean, like identity-politics based on my ethnic or national background, or some other concern based on “me,” and ultimately on the divisive concerns of ”the god of this world.” While I can’t ever cease to be “me,” I can let my “me” take a back seat to “the light of the gospel,” when I am called to share it with “others” un-like “me.” Because I am not called to call them to “me,” but to “Jesus Christ as Lord.” So let me “let light shine out of darkness” today, from the bottom of my heart, toward and for anyone who is open to it, whether “slave or free,” or “male or female,” or “Jew or Greek” (cf. Gal 3: 28), or otherwise!