SHARING IN THE GRACE

In his second Corinthian letter, Paul asks his friends to consider giving to help needy people in other places. He cites the Christian charity of the Macedonians (8:1-4); an example set by them despite their own poverty. The Macedonian phenomenon is called "the grace given by God" (8:1), and an invitation is extended to the Corinthians to excel also "in this grace of giving" (8:7).

The 'grace' of giving entails cheerful and eager generosity ((9:5,7). This avid and unstinting willingness to share has its source in God. He is "able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things and at all time, having all you need . . . . he has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor . . ." (9:8,9).  Note the lack of distinction between 'grace' as God's generosity to humans, and 'grace' when it the sharing Spirit among human--itself God's gift (8:1,7).

Creation is saturated with a kindly disposition, called grace., and definitively expressed in Jesus. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich" (8:9)  Not rich as in having lots of money; rich in grace. hence: "So that having all you need, you will abound in every good work" (9:8).

That men and women should begin to share in the benevolent activity of their Creator, is the goal of the gospel.

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15).

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