Monumental UMC in Portsmouth, Virginia, suffered a terrible fire more than a year and a half ago. Workers were waterproofing the steeple and one of the torches caught the steeple and almost the entire church on fire. In the last two weeks, the steeple has been replaced. Once again, it is standing above almost everything else in downtown Portsmouth. The new steeple has a copper top so it will shine for all to see.
In our world today, we need to have something to look up to and many of us look to the church. The church is often seen as a place where everything is expected to look perfect; it’s not seen as a place where we can show up burnt and not shining.
In our fallen, broken world, all of us are “burnt”, bent, or crooked. We might be tempted to keep our vulnerabilities under wraps, but scripture encourages the opposite attitude. In II Corinthians 12, Paul suggests that it’s in our weaknesses, an unnamed struggle he calls a “Thorn in my flesh” (v.7), that Christ is most likely to reveal His power. Verse 9 is where Jesus told Paul, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” So Paul concluded, “For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (v.10)
We don’t like fires. We don’t like imperfections. We don’t like problems, but when we invite Jesus into these places in our lives, His power begins to work in us. When we invite Jesus into the crooked places in our lives, He gently mends us in ways that our efforts could never accomplish.
II Corinthians 12:9 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
Author: Tommy Herndon