2 Corinthians 12:2-10 (NRSV)
Verse 2I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven-whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. Verse 3And I know that such a person-whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows- Verse 4was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. Verse 5On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Verse 6But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, Verse 7even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Verse 8Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, Verse 9but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Verse 10Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
“On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.”
A rule taught in my preaching class was to never boast about yourself from the pulpit. However, Paul’s attempt to honor that rule here, though beginning awkwardly, ends magnificently in the message of God’s sufficiency.
No danger here—my bloopers and blunders while leading worship ensure humility. After giving an Easter Sunday children’s message wearing a headband with rabbit ears, I quickly stepped over to the pulpit to proclaim Easter’s gospel of the Resurrection. Midway through, I became conscious I was still wearing rabbit ears. I dipped down behind the pulpit, slipped off the headband and rose back into place to continue reading.
In the shared laughter of such humbling moments, we actually breathe in and out God’s grace—it truly IS sufficient. What a welcome relief!
O Lord, I did it again. Thank you that in such moments, I am reminded your grace is sufficient and you would still have me serve you, bloopers and all. Amen.