Lectionary Year B
July 2, 2000
II Corinthians 8:7-15
Step II: Disposition
(GG) A. GENRE
The form of this address is the epistle. The passage is a part of
Paul's [JEA - further explanation?] fourth letter to the Corinthians. It is the letter of
reconciliation. The church feud seems to have passed. Reconciliation
is at hand. These verses are an exhortation to generous giving for the
Lord's work beyond that particular congregation. This letter to the
congregation includes the use of certain "Christian Wisdom Literature."
The lyrical verse 9 has a hymn-like quality, while vs. 15 is a quote
from Ex. 16:18. [DH - resources?] It refers to the children of Israel in the wilderness.
No matter if a person gathered a little manna or a lot, it was enough.
Vs. 12 may have proverbial roots.
Authorship in not in doubt, as this work is a vintage Pauline
(GG) B. PERSONAL INTERACTION
This church had experienced a severe rupture in its unity. Yet Paul
now calls to mind the wonderful work of grace among these Christians in
days past. Just as you have excelled in faith, in speech, in knowledge,
in sincerity, and in your love for us, excel in this work of grace
No command for giving is forced upon the family of faith. Paul has
shared this sentiment before -- there he continues, for God loves a
cheerful giver. This is an area of response to God in which our hearts
and our minds and our wills are brought together through faith. Very
often our heart will suggest that we make a particular contribution,
but our mind cannot see that we are able to afford it. How our will is
in harmony with God's will determines the extent of our sacrifice. In a
real sense, our response also determines how deeply the grace of God
will be lodged in our lives. And one follows the other, this is much
like the teaching of a rabbi.
The readiness and eagerness of the Corinthian Christians are recalled.
You were first with a desire to assist the saints. Now let your actions
reflect your desires. Let your deeds catch up with your words!
The central appeal is to the example of Christ, but other appeals are
Remember the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ -- he was willing to leave
his splendor behind and to chose our poverty so that we, the
impoverished ones, might know his riches. What are these riches? To
know God! To be in communion with the Divine Master of all things. It
is no easy thing to teach or demonstrate or live. But Christ was
willing to endure the greatest suffering that we might see the power of
God more clearly.
If the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one
has, not according to what one does not have! [DH - step II?]
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