Monday, August 30, 2010

Trembling and Fear

"I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest on human wisdom but on the power of God."

Sometimes we confuse "persuasive (words of) wisdom" with "demonstration of spirit and power." When a speaker moves us to emotional highs and we become excited and thrilled, we tell each other that the "spirit is working." But afterwards, after all is said and done, we return to our homes and go back to Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter wrote in one of his songs.."my same old used-to-be." I don't doubt that the Spirit can work in these ways, such as we hear of Pentecost Sunday, but the Spirit also works in the quiet of our days, alone and in darkness, when we quiet ourselves and listen. I think that this is what Paul may be telling the Corinthians. The message is greater, more pervasive, than the messenger. When Paul says he comes in "weakness and fear and much trembling," he is talking about his knowing of the Lord. He has emptied himself to the point where it is not Paul speaking, but the "spirit and power" of God is speaking through him. As I thought about this, I thought of the prayer of St. Francis. "Make me a vessel of your peace..."

We are, if we are quietly seeking the Lord, more like Paul and St. Francis than we may realize. In our humility, we empty ourselves. We listen, we pray, and then we act. In our lives, we bear witness to Christ. We evangelize by being who we have become through Christ. Just as Paul did.
We may not travel the world or have our own cable network, but we quietly evangelize our family, friends, co-workers and community. Those who are open and seeking see. Those who reject will reject. That is there call. We are answering ours. To walk simply in the light of the Lord as vessels of His love.

No comments:

Post a Comment