6 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says,
“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
Day 7 - Now is the Time
Despite what many think about grace, the unmerited favor of God's goodness and love, it is possible to make vanity out of it. This is to diminish God's work in such a way that it becomes lifeless and without result in the lives that it is to be at work among. For Paul this vanity of grace came in the unwillingness to embrace God's work in and through him and his team. The appeal to receive them was due to the fact that they themselves were working with Christ and to receive them was to receive God's grace at work in them.
Paul proceeds to remind the church in Corinth that the Lord is one who hears prayers and not one who abandons them in their time of need. His desire for them is to know his love in its fullness, which is why they must also receive the ways in which he as work in the world to express that love. The day of God's deliverance is not some distant reality and Paul emphasizes the favor in which they now stand in light of the resurrection.
The church in its 2000 year history has done much to make vain the grace of God within it by its splintered fellowship and the discord found between those who confess the reconciling truth of the Gospel in Christ. It has forgotten that its working together is a working with the one who expresses his love in service, humility and sacrifice. This appeal to remember God's favor and working is now an appeal through the Spirit to us, reminding us that God is once more a deliverer and is capable of bringing his saving power to our disunity and divisions.
Much time is spent speculating on the circumstantial will of God and how we are to use our time. We can become mired in our inability to know how and in what way the Lord is leading us. In situations like this though the will of God is clear. Now is the time of God's favor, the time of healing and reconciliation, where once more his grace finds its fullness in us, those who are working together with him in his salvation.
Thank you for journeying with us during this 108th annual week of Prayer for Christian unity. We hope that God spoke to your hearts throughout this week and pray that you continue to have the grace and courage to move closer to the heart of Jesus, who still prays that we would be one in him.
O generous and loving God, we praise and thank you for your gifts.
We acknowledge our failure to heal the divisions
that exist among the followers of your Son, Jesus Christ.
We pray for your help and guidance to overcome
the barriers that continue to separate Christians.
We ask that the power of your Holy Spirit be fully alive within us;
and for Your love to give us the strength
to mend the hurts that separate the followers of Jesus.
Help us build bridges of love and understanding with all humanity.
May the love and forgiveness of Jesus guide us each day
as we journey with our sisters and brothers in Christ's name.
We pray for the day when it will truly be said
of all who follow your Son, Jesus Christ:
"They love one another as Jesus loves."