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Back to Corinthians, chap 4

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. (1 Corinthians 4:8-10 ESV)

Often we think our ministry would be more effective if we were more impressive in worldly terms. If only we were more popular, young, hip, cool, learned, wealthy, successful (in worldly terms), a mover and shaker, more on top of things, even more "victorious" in an outwardly impressive way.

Paul makes it clear in chapter 4 that apostolic ministry was not as impressive in those terms as the ministry posture of the Corinthian church. It almost sounds like the contrast between an uncouth street preacher and an affluent mega-church.

It strikes me that people see the authenticity of our life in Christ precisely when we don't "have it all together". It is when we are in pain, in hunger, in isolation, in rejection, in poverty that the life of Jesus is manifest and people see the reality of the world beyond this one.

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