Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view;[a] even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view,[b] we know him no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,[c] not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
The first verse of today’s reading begins with a “therefore” statement: “therefore we regard no one from a human point of view.” A “therefore” begs the question of what came before. It’s like a formal resolution passed by a city council or a board of directors. There are a number of statements that begin with “whereas” and then a statement that says, “therefore, be it resolved…”
Our passage begins with a “therefore,” but where are the “whereases?” Where else, but in the preceding verses? Paul says in those verses: “For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.” There they are! Whereas the love of Christ urges us on, and whereas we are convinced that One has died for us all, and whereas he died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them, THEREFORE, from now on we regard no one from a human point of view…if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation!” In other words, because of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ, we have a different way of seeing. This is extremely important, because we may not have recognized this yet and we need to see it! How we see people matters a great deal. How we see ourselves and how we see others makes all the difference in the world.
Paul’s “therefore” is at the heart of a different way of seeing—it is about experiencing the transforming power of Christ and seeing with the eyes of Christ—no longer regarding others “from a human point of view.”
Once you are transformed by the love of Christ you can never be the same again. Old divisions, old hatreds, and old prejudices give way to a new way of seeing others.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster