Covenant Group Study blog  

Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3: 1 – 3

In the Christmas season of 1998, a movie came out titled, You’ve Got Mail. A Romantic comedy, a “remake” of an older movie titled The Shop Around the Corner, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The original movie’s plot centered on the exchange of anonymous pen pal messages (old school) and the newer movie updated this to the age of the internet and it revolved around e-mail via AOL.

In our scripture today, Paul tells us that it’s not important whether or not we have mail. What is important is that we are mail. That is M-A-I-L; this is not about gender but rather about sender. We have talked before that there is a difference between an apostle and a disciple, though the terms are frequently interchanged today. Where a disciple is a student, an apostle is one who is sent.

Throughout the Bible, we are taught that quality matters. Before Ford Motor Company ever declared that “Quality is Job 1”; the quality of what we do, what we give, how we live, what we consume is declared starting in the Book of Genesis and is declared all the way through to Revelation.

“Like many others, John Wesley was a person who “soaked up life” from many different sources. He enjoyed reading as many books as he could get his hands on. But he came to see that while his night sky had many stars in it, there was only one North Star - The Bible. It was his fixed point of navigation on the sea of life. He referred to himself as homo unis libri – a man of one book. In his preface to his Standard Sermons, Wesley wrote, “O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! … Here is knowledge enough for me.”1” From Reflecting God, by Wes Tracy, Gary Cockerill, Donald Demaray and Steve Harper, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2000. Pg 104 1. Albert Outler, ed., The Works of John Wesley (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1984), 1:105

The culture that surrounds us is fixated on our rights. We have a lot of rights; in America we even have a legal document that spells out our rights. It is interesting how vigorously we defend these rights and misinterpret or over-interpret them in the 21st Century. Let us consider – for a moment – that our rights should and must be interpreted through the light of our responsibilities. Our Constitution spells out our rights. But it is Wesley’s One Book – the Holy Bible, which spells out our responsibilities.

That is why we must study the Bible and consider (or ponder) the events of today through the lens of Holy Scripture. This is the means, through the Holy Spirit’s intercession, by which God is able to write on our hearts. We are His letter, not carried around in a sack, not ‘sent electronically’; God’s tablet is not an apple (think about that one …) – it is our lives and how we speak and act into the lives of those He places around us. I believe that it is the combination of studying Holy Scripture and the trials that He allows in each of our lives that make us able to respond to His calling. Our response is our responsibility.

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