4 July 2021

Leading with a Limp

Pastor Karen Muntzing | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ohio

Speaker: Pastor Karen

Bible Passage: 2 Corinthians 12:2-10

Old Testament Reading

Psalm 48 Common English Bible

In the city belonging to our God,
    the Lord is great and so worthy of praise!
His holy mountain is a beautiful summit,
    the joy of the whole world.
    Mount Zion, in the far north,
    is the city of the great king.
God is in its fortifications,
    revealing himself as a place of safety.

Look: the kings assembled themselves,
    advancing all together—
    when they saw it, they were stunned;
    they panicked and ran away frightened.
Trembling took hold of them right there—
    like a woman giving birth,
    or like the east wind when it smashes
    the ships of Tarshish.
Just like we had heard,
    now we’ve seen it for ourselves
    in the city of the Lord of heavenly forces,
    in the city of our God.
        May God make it secure forever! Selah

We dwell on your faithful love, God,
    in your temple.
Your praise, God, just like your reputation,
    extends to the far corners of the earth.
        Your strong hand is filled with righteousness.
Let Mount Zion be glad;
    let the towns of Judah rejoice
        because of your acts of justice!

Walk around Zion;
    go all the way around it;
    count its towers.
Examine its defenses closely;
    tour its fortifications
    so that you may tell future generations:
“This is God,
    our God, forever and always!
    He is the one who will lead us
    even to the very end.”

 

Epistles Reading

2 Corinthians 12:2-10 Common English Bible

I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven fourteen years ago. I don’t know whether it was in the body or out of the body. God knows. I know that this man was caught up into paradise and that he heard unspeakable words that were things no one is allowed to repeat. I don’t know whether it was in the body or apart from the body. God knows. I’ll brag about this man, but I won’t brag about myself, except to brag about my weaknesses.

If I did want to brag, I wouldn’t make a fool of myself because I’d tell the truth. I’m holding back from bragging so that no one will give me any more credit than what anyone sees or hears about me. I was given a thorn in my body because of the outstanding revelations I’ve received so that I wouldn’t be conceited. It’s a messenger from Satan sent to torment me so that I wouldn’t be conceited.

I pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me alone. He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.