7 Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.
8 I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10 And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something— 11 now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. 12 For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. 13 I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between 14 your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. 15 As it is written,
“The one who had much did not have too much,
and the one who had little did not have too little.”
Although I am sure everyone’s minds have pulled various directions this week due to the topics on the news, I would like us center down for a moment and focus on faith, truth, and the holy rhythm of life that Jesus taught us. I challenge each of us, including myself to center on this because if the holy lifestyle of Christ is not at the center of our lives every moment of every day we will look at current events, and every other aspect of life there skewed lenses of personal perception.
Paul wrote these words to a community that was saturated with icons of entertainment and luxury. A culture that was devoted to commerce, athletics, sensual pleasures, and religious devotion. I want us all to remember the last statement I mentioned the most. Corinth was a devout city. Their entire culture revolved around their religious devotion. It permiated every aspect of their lives and livelihoods. Their athletic games were religious celebrations, their commerce was a blessing of their deity, and they gained great pleasure at their places of worship. They in many ways were not unlike us. The main difference was the deity they honored.
They lived and breathed their faith, it was something that affected every aspect of their lives. And Paul visited them and shared the Gospel of Christ. When he spoke to them, he spoke to them in terms that they would understand. He likened the holy lifestyle of Christ to the training an athlete would engage in while preparing for the games, a life of discipline and devotion. Not one that is easy but requires sacrifice and work. He then went deeper letting them know that this holy lifestyle we know as being a disciple of Christ focuses on loving God, embracing the Spirit’s leading and gifts, and living the love of Christ with others. He begins to speak with a language that they understand and then he goes deeper and deeper until the rhythm of God has so saturated their being that it begins to flow out of them to others.
Our mission in this Meeting is similar to that of Jesus and Paul, of all the apostles and the Church throughout the world. Our mission is to completely saturate individuals in the love and devotion to Christ to the point that that love will ooze out of us and flow to others within our community. This is why we considered our mission statement with careful consideration and discernment. Our mission statement, the statement we declare each week is, that we are a people loving God, embracing the Holy Spirit, and living the love of Christ with others. It was not something that came out of worldly leadership manuals, but it emerged among us as a group through prayer, careful consideration, and discernment. And that mission is constantly being supported though scripture.
I declare to you that our mission has not changed, and it will not change. I will continue to encourage everyone I meet to love God, embrace the Holy Spirit, and to live the love of Christ with other where ever I am and with whomever I am with. It is a mission centered on building the relational kingdom community that Jesus began centuries ago and pass on to those that follow him, first in Jerusalem, then to Judea, and to the ends of the Earth.
I say that this is our mission statement, but it really is not ours alone. It is the vision of Christ, it was the mission of Christ, with the foundations that go down to the very beginning of time. It has always been God’s mission to bring mankind back into relationship with him, to restore and redeem the world that was once launched into chaos by our first parents, when they sought to be gods instead of living life with God.
I say all of this because Corinth was a devoted city. Paul introduced the gospel of Christ to them and many embraced the Holy lifestyle that Paul showed them through his life and ministry. Yet they veered off course. They allowed the things to distract them. They once lived with a holy rhythm but they allowed that rhythm to get out of sync, and the beatings of their hearts stopped mimicking that of Christ and began instead to reflect something else entirely. Their heart beat with rhythms of commerce, games, and pleasure once more yet they still held to religious devotion.
Paul tells them, “[You] excel in everything – in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you – so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.” These people were amazing people. Ancient myths speak about great kings that could turn everything they touch into gold, well these people could do this. They excelled in everything. If they had a goal set before them they could make it happen. That is what built their city, and their culture, if they decided to do something they did not just do it, they did it in such a way that it was great! Paul tells them this because he knows and they know that it is true. But with that statement he challenges them too.” [We] want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.” The undertaking he is challenging them with is to devote all of that excellence into supporting the continued ministry of Christ.
In many ways Corinth pulled away from the larger church, they pulled away from engaging the culture in which they lived, and their message began to suffer because of it. They pulled away from the church because they had issues that they needed to deal with at home. In the first letter Paul sent to them he called them out on many areas of their individual and communal lives that had strayed from the rhythm of Christ. Because of this they tightened their belts and used their excellence to become a more devote church. They focused on making themselves better, exceling in speech, in knowledge and eagerness live correctly. Paul and the Church as a whole loved them for their devotion, but through this excellence they neglected a very important aspect of devotion to Christ, they neglected living the love of Christ with others. We might see that as being a minor thing. They had excellent worship services, they had excellent theology, excellent dedication to right living we might say they turned themselves into the model church after being the example of what not to do. But in all that excellence they dammed up the flow of grace to the world.
When we neglect living the love of Christ with others we cause the grace of God to become stagnat and the church fails. We fail because the church is not about perfect worship, it is not about perfect theology it is about His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. His will is to redeem and restore all of creation back to harmony with each other and with God once again, uniting Heaven and Earth through the hearts of mankind. Paul is saying to them join with us in this generous undertaking. Join with us as we allow the grace to flow to the people God loves and gave his Son to redeem.
As I reflect on this passage my mind wonders to the Gospel of John and the third time Jesus, well the third time John records Jesus meeting with the disciples. Peter and the other fishermen decided that they were done with waiting around in the upper room and return to their fishing boats. They labored all night with no return and in the morning Jesus calls out to them from the shore and tells them to throw the net over the right side. They were each struck with a case of Déjà vu, and they come to the shore to eat with him. After the meal Jesus talks with Peter, asking if he loves him and peter answers three times that he does. With each answer Jesus encourages Peter to feed his lambs, tend His sheep, and to feed His sheep. This story is the very passage that God used to call me into the ministry I have pursued for the past thirteen years. And it is the passage that often Jesus brings me back to when He again reassures me that I need to continue down this path. But as I reflect this week I am drawn to the encouragement that Jesus gives to Peter, feed the lambs, tend the sheep, and feed the sheep. This is a call to get involved personally, and generously with the people. Feed, tend, and feed some more. This is a calling to live the love of Christ with others.
Paul, like Jesus to Peter, is challenging the people of Corinth with the question “Do you Love me?” He is not commanding that they participate in the outreach ministry of Apostles, but he is challenging them to consider their faith, devotion, and love for Christ. If you were to read the verses prior to this section you would find that Paul mentions the ministry of the churches in Macidonia and the way they had greatly advanced the kingdom even though they were impoverished, and Paul then asks the people of Corinth if their faith and love for Christ compares to theirs. They had and still have nothing yet they gave it all. Is your love any less?
“Do you love me?” Jesus asks his disciple. “Do you love Him?” Paul asks the people of Corinth. Do we love him, do we trust and believe to such a degree that we would be willing to not only love God and embrace the Holy Spirit, but to live the love of Christ with others? Do we not only love but do we trust Him? Do we entrust into his care our very lives and livelihoods? Will we be willing to give all that we have to excel in this generous undertaking?
All have sinned, all have been distracted from God, and all including each of us have allowed things both righteous and unrighteous to disrupt the holy rhythm of our lives with God. Yet while we were still and in some cases are still sinners Christ died for us. He left his lofty thrones in heaven to dwell among mankind on earth. He lived among us showing us what life with God looks like, and he did it while living in poverty. He grew up living and working with a handy man, he entered ministry after an entire career in that line of work, and he did it to show us how to live. And then he took on our sin, our guilt, and our shame hanging them on a cross and then burying them within a tomb. The wages of sin are death, but Christ came so that they may have life and have it abundantly. We are dead in sin but in Christ we are alive, made new, and have the hope of heaven even when we are on earth. Paul asks us, “do we love him, is our love for him any less than theirs?” Paul then encourages them to finish what they started. Finish strong like an athlete that has been well trained and disciplined for the race. Finish it. Do not let the world distract us from our vision and our mission. Let our vision be centered on Christ, and let our mission continue driving us to be a people loving God, embracing the Holy Spirit, and living the love of Christ with others. Let us finish what we started…what He started in us, let us join and finish with excellence the generous undertaking set before us, sacrificing everything so that the world might see life in Christ.
2 Corinthians 6:1–13 (NRSV)
As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3 We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7 truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
11 We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. 12 There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. 13 In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.
What is faith in God? What does it mean to be a Friend of truth, of God, and of man? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? What is the purpose of the Church? I hope that these questions have risen in your heart and your mind a few times as you have personally walked along the pathways of faith. I hope that you have questioned your faith for a reason. If we do not question our faith, if we do not challenge ourselves or our beliefs, do we actually believe anything?
Paul tells the people of Corinth not to accept the grace of God in vain. To me he is also challenging them to question or examine their faith. The term vain is an interesting word. It means without content, hollow, useless and careless. So when Paul speaks to these people he is challenging them to examine their lives of faith, to take a look inside themselves and their community, to investigate their actions and motives to see if they are hollow or filled.
This very idea probably scares many of us, frankly it scares me, because it requires that each of us must face the truth of ourselves and humbly walk before God. What if when we gaze into our lives of faith we find a void? This prompts many of us to fear self-examination, to neglect it, and we begin to live a life of vanity. A hollow empty existence, where we have lied to ourselves about our faith and devotion of God, while in reality there is nothing there.
This is the very thing that the early Friends challenged their countrymen about when they began forming their religious society. I am reminded of George Fox’s testimony of his spiritual journey, he eagerly sought direction and encouragement from the religious leaders throughout his travels each gave advice to quiet his passions yet all left him empty and hungry for more. One advised him to find himself a wife to divert his attention and to fill the void he was feeling with the passions and responsibilities of a family. Another told him to seek mental care through the use of tobacco and bloodletting. While the third flew into a fit of rage because George stepped off of the pathway in the garden and crushed a leaf of one of the precious plants the priest was tending. Each of these men were respected individual within the religious community, they were people that George himself thought would be the ones that could answer the questions he had about his spiritual life. Yet their spiritual direction was distractions. Make a family, do drugs, or find fulfillment in temporal and material pursuits.
I imagine that the young George Fox probably felt as if the whole idea of faith was empty if the best advice given by the spiritual leaders is the same advice he could have received from anyone on the street or in the pub. He took his Bible and he walked out into the fields, broken, searching, and wondering.
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” Paul reminds the faithful of the words that God spoke to the prophet Isiah centuries before. Centuries before even the life of Jesus. And yet those words speak not only to those faithful from the Hebrew believes but also to the gentiles among the community. Fox described this as a day of visitation. A moment in time where the spirits of man and God brush together, a crossroad at which those journeying must make a decision of which direction they will proceed. Paul tells the people of Corinth that they are at one of those crossroads in faith.
Our spiritual journeys are filled with several of these crossroads. At times it seems as if every moment of every day is yet another day of visitation challenging us to make some sort of decision. It should not surprise us that so many in the faith communities question, examine, and decide to either stay or leave communities of faith.
This is where the Church is important. Those days of visitation can be very difficult to endure. The Church as a whole is probably one of the greatest days of visitation it has ever faced. We as individuals and a communities are facing pressures from within and without the church demanding attention. Does this mean we need to withdraw and retreat? Not in the slightest. It means we need to examine ourselves and our church meetings to determine if maybe we are being vain or being honest. We need to come back to the center and focus again on the most important aspects of our faith traditions and stop trying to be things we are not.
Paul explains this as putting out no obstacles, this is a very confusing term because on the surface we would assume that these would be legalistic rules that keep people from finding acceptance within a community. Hoops of requirements that we require people to jump through before they are found acceptable. This might be the case, but it goes deeper than that. This term is one that is personal; causing one to stumble, causing spiritual hurt, or causing offense. Think about that for a moment. The obstacles that Paul is speaking of are relational or the lack there of. Some might consider this to be liberal in theology, watering down the truth or even succumbing to the world, but before you jump to that conclusion remember who these people were that were reading this letter.
The people of Corinth were fixated on the feeding of their own personal desires. They worship the goddess of love, the partied around athletic events, and their livelihoods depended on trade and the servicing of the traders. Yet Paul says to them do not become offensive when you participate in the ministry of God. The call of God and the call of the culture are on very different edges of the spectrum of life for these people, but do not be offensive do not cause pain, or someone to stumble. In my mind I cannot really grasp how Paul expects us and them to not provide an obstacle to these people. It is impossible to preach the gospel and not be offensive to the world, without relationship with God and humanity being the goal.
Paul is urging them to go out in ministry, go out living the love of Christ with other, build friendships with the people of the world and show them a different lifestyle. Friends would call this living a sacramental life, fully devoted to God. Speaking through our actions as well as with our words. If we fail to live the love of Christ with others we will always be an obstacle, our words will fall on deaf ears because we have not given them a reason to listen. Without building a relationship, an authentic relationship where we accept them for who they are first and then encourage them to walk with us as we follow Christ, we are empty of the truth and they will only see us a judgmental bigots.
Paul then provides a testimony as to how to live life with others; endure the hardships, face the riots, the beatings, go hungry so others might have something to eat. In essence he is saying sacrifice all your security, and all of your comfort so that you can speak the truth to those around you at their level. Siding with the exploited ones, demanding justice for those who have been wronged, giving to those who have need. Yes the ministry of the church is social justice. Our hearts should break whenever and where ever we see inequality, prejudices, and exploitation. I say this because this is the ministry that Jesus himself started. And when he taught his disciples to pray they were to pray that “thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.” On Earth as it is in Heaven, quite literally means that we should be striving to make heaven on earth. What would that look like?
This is an extremely difficult passage to really grasp. It feels as if Paul is speaking in two different directions when we know we can only go in one. This is why the church is so extremely important. It is the community of faithful that come alongside those that are experiencing those days of visitation, to provide encouragement to the ones that are struggling. It is the community that will help us discern the various voices calling us to different paths in life. The church is the place and the community that supports our ministries. It is the church that encourages us to adopt the holy lifestyle that Christ taught us, the life of prayer, worship and ministry. Without the church there is not a community, there is not support, and we are left alone trying to make vain attempts to fill a relational void yet having nothing to fill it.
How are we doing as a church? Are we vain, empty of all that really matters or are we filed with the love and grace of God? Are we putting obstacles before people or are we helping them walk around the very things that cause them to fall? Are we living the love of Christ with others? Paul closes this section of scripture by telling the people of Corinth that his heart is open to them. That he loves and accepts them for who they are. They should know this because he had spent so much time with them prior to him writing these two letters to them. He endured so much with them and yet they hesitate. They look to him with some contempt because they had hardened their hearts, they had slid back into previous lifestyles and they are seeing Paul as judging them instead of loving them. It is not Paul who has changed but them. It is their hearts that have hardened and forgotten how to love. They are the ones that have engaged in the obstacles and cooled the devotion. So Paul says “Open wide your hearts.”
As we enter into this time of open worship I encourage each of us to Open wide our hearts, to examine our faith and allow the Spirit to examine us as well. Have we became vain? Have we emptied ourselves of God’s grace and become obstacles to those that are seeking the acceptance of God? Is there room for improvement? We are in a day of visitation, and our salvation is just before us. If we earnestly seek Him He will be our ever present teacher and guide, He will lead us down the right paths even if our wisdom fails. So as we examine let us also seek that direction, let us ask that that very spirit will fill the areas of emptiness with grace and let us be moved to encourage those people whom God leads us to encourage.
2 Corinthians 5:6–17 (NRSV)
6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
The Ministry of Reconciliation
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Why do we do what we do? Have you ever really thought about why we do the things we do? Why do we act a certain way, why do we attend certain events, why do we even bother coming to church? I know that it is a strange question to ask, and I also know that it may make some of us nervous when the pastor asks why we bother coming to church, but the question remains. Why?
We each struggle with this question as we walk along the pathways of live. At times everything we do seems to be in vain, as the writer of Ecclesiastes eloquently states throughout his observations. But then there is something deep within that seems to drive us to continue on down the trail. There is something within us that tells us this is right even though everything else around us seems to say the exact opposite. We walk down the road following Christ, even when it is hard.
Imagine if you will the people of the first century, the people that first heard the gospel that we nearly take for granted today. A people that lived in a world that was filled with religious devotion and to be perfectly honest fear of the world. The culture surrounding this city we know as Corinth was deeply devoted to the pantheon of gods and goddesses that could never really be known, that were tricky and picky with who they would bless and would often curse. People would be driven to make sacrifices often great sacrifices just for the hope that their crops would survive or their spouses would conceive an heir to the estate. Yet they would never know if it was enough. What if the priest or priestess did not do something correctly, or what if we happened to offend one god by honoring another too much, or what if a god was just in a bad mood? There is a reason that people first came to faith in Christ, it was mainly due to confidence that the faithful disciples had in life.
We all know that there is a perpetual fear of the dark, it is almost ingrained in our DNA that bad things happen in the dark. The spirits walk in the night, spirits that have ill intent for the living. When Patrick was ministering to the Celts of Ireland one of the most powerful testimonies he had was his ability to sleep at night without the use of intoxicating beverages to deaden fear. The ancient Celts lived in fear of their gods to such a degree that they could literally be scared to death. Yet Patrick slept without fear, he had confidence, and those that listened to his testimony receive the same confidence. The ancient people that first heard the Gospel throughout the lands of the Mediterranean were not all that different. And Paul reminds them that we are confident not in the things that we see but the things that are unseen.
We have confidence in the unseen, because that unseen force that is at work within us raised Christ from the grave. Not just in some mythological sense but in truth. Over five hundred people bore witness to this and were dispersed around the known world, all across the Roman Empire in the west and to the farthest reaches of the Persian Empire to the east. Down to the sources of the Nile and some say that they went as far north as the British Isles. Each carrying the same message, “Christ has risen!” This is a game changer because if Christ has risen then our faith is not just some superstition but true power.
But do we live as if we believe in the resurrection?
I ask this in all seriousness, because how we answer that question actually leads into the answer of why we are here and why we bother with faith in the first place. Because if there truly is a resurrection then that means that there is hope beyond the things that we see. That there is something happening just beyond what we can sense around us, and if we train ourselves properly we will be able to get a glimpse. This is why Paul says, “[W]e aim to please him.” Because we know somewhere deep within our hearts that there is something more to life.
We aim to please him! What a profound statement that is. So much of religion is wrapped up in appeasing the gods, yet in Paul’s statement there is a slight difference mainly that there is an ability to know Him in the first place, and an ability to know what pleases Him. Our God is not one that is separated from us but is Emanuel, God with us. He can be known and can know. Paul goes as far as to say that he is well known to God. Our God knows the human condition, He has experienced every emotion and struggle that we experience and he walks with us. Jesus came down from heaven to be born as a baby, He lived through the entire spectrum of childhood, He even had to experience a drastic life change like moving from one nation to another. Jesus was an immigrant at one point in time. He experienced adolescence, he experienced the loss of loved ones, he experience career changes, and he experienced pain. He knows what we are going through and he endured it all because He desires a relationship with us. He wants a relationship that is so deep that our every motive and action is aimed at pleasing Him.
The early Friends understood this and when they began their ministry across England, Ireland, and into the colonies of the Americas. They taught that all of life is a sacrament. That every aspect of our life should be lived and devoted to God, aimed to please him. This is present throughout all of our testimonies, from our testimony of peace to simplicity, each is devoted to this idea that every aspect of our life should be lived honoring God. So in honoring God in all that we do, we might encourage others to walk in the light as well.
We aim to honor and please Him, we aim to make every aspect of our lives holy and devoted to Christ within us and within those around us. We strive to know the spirit so fully and deeply that we begin to reflect Christ in all that we do. We do all of this because, as Paul states, “the love of Christ urges us on.” Have you experience that urge? Every so often I am asked why I do what I do. What drove me to leave the path if was on to become a pastor? Most recently I was asked this by a man I know absolutely nothing about who just happened to find out I was a pastor. The only answer I could give him was that I could not see myself doing anything else. In under a minute I told this man that I went to Ukraine saw people’s lives changed, came home and found that everything in my life was also changed. I no longer had a desire to pursue the things I once pursued and that strangely I had a desire instead to encourage people to walk in faith. I have no idea if this encouraged him, but it is a testimony of the love of Christ urging me on. It makes no sense rationally, financially, or even spiritually because the struggles I have face are not anything I would have chosen, yet I cannot see myself doing anything else.
We are urged in love to live every aspect of our lives devoted to Christ. Known intimately by God, and knowing Him as well, but we do this for the benefit of others. This is where many may begin to squirm, our lives with Christ are not lived so we can get to heaven but so that through us God can lead others to him. In the somewhat awkward language that Paul speaks in verse 12, “We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart.” He is telling us that our lives are not lived for ourselves, we are not living to bring honor to ourselves or to have bragging rights. If you are in Christ and if Christ is in you, if you are living a life urged on by the love of Christ everything you do should be to encourage others to pursue Christ. Just think about that for a moment? Your business is not your business but it is Christ’s in which God gave you stewardship over so that you could participate in the ongoing ministry of Jesus to the world. All that we have is given for the ministry of Christ to the world around us. It is not about our preferences, it is not about our lifestyle, but it is about encouraging other to sense and discern the urging of Christ within them to be moved down the paths of faith that are not sensed by worldly methods.
It sounds crazy I know. It sounds ridiculous and pretty much insane. Paul was considered by many to be crazy. The disciples were accused of being drunk in the early morning on the day of Pentecost. Yet these men gave all they had many gave their very lives so that others could know the love of God. And people responded to the craziness. The numbers of faithful grew daily because they were faithful in living totally sold out to Christ. The testimony that Luke gives is that there was no one in need among them. They had a reputation of being just, of being loving and gracious, of having a confidence that was supernatural to the world among them. And that spoke volumes.
But do we live like that? Does our love proceed us? Are we known to be out of our mind in generosity or are we living a life bound to worldly wisdom? “From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view…if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.” That is the power of the resurrected Christ. That is where our confidence lies. It is a different perspective, a point of view that is not based on human understanding.
Early Friends stated that there is a light of Christ in all people and that is the view that Christ urges us to take. Looking not at what the world sees but looking deeper within, taking hold of that which Christ has taken hold of in us. Encouraging them to look beyond. God is with us. He is all around us. He is within and without, above and below. He is urging us to be led by love and saturated in His spirit. So let us be a people that live lives loving God, embracing the Holy Spirit, and living the love of Christ with others, so that we might experience and see the power of the resurrection that makes all things new!