Shining through the Cracks

Read: 2 Corinthians 4:1-7

God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts. (v. 6)

In 2019, Ben Kirby started the Instagram account PreachersNSneakers featuring pastors wearing expensive designer shoes and clothing. He intended it to be humorous. But it has proven to be an incisive critique of the phenomenon of (wannabe) “celebrity” pastors, who justify extravagant lifestyles or flashy public personas as a means of promoting Jesus.

The apostle Paul argues that Jesus needs no such promotion. One of the dilemmas he faced in Corinth was critics who claimed that Paul’s faith could not be real because he himself was so humble and poor. Paul provides a defense that any Christian in humble circumstances may find helpful. Plus, he wore his own scars and struggles as a badge of honor—the true sign of communion with his scarred and suffering Savior.

Paul uses a metaphor familiar to his audience: a simple clay oil lamp, an item sold for pennies in every public market. In the same way that the lamp’s value is not in its construction but its contents, the value of every Christian is the eternal Spirit we carry. You and I do not need to be attractive to attract others to Christ. In fact, the point of our life in Christ is to draw attention not to ourselves, but to him. If his Spirit is alive in us, his love and life will radiate from us. No matter how humble or poor your exterior, the glory of the Savior will shine through the cracks.

As you pray, ask Jesus to make his love and life unmistakable in you.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is the Minister of Worship and Leadership at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He preaches and teaches the Bible in church, online, and anywhere else he has the opportunity.

This entry is part 5 of 15 in the series 2 Corinthians: Shining through the Cracks