I am alway struck by how challenging it is to read 2 Corinthians in Greek. I’ve been taking my time going over and over chapters 4 and 5 this week, and as the week drew to a close it was a couple phrases at the beginning of chapter 5 that really spoke to me.
ἐφ᾿ ᾧ οὐ θέλομεν ἐκδύσασθαι ἀλλ᾿ ἐπενδύσασθαι
so we don’t want to take off [our physical bodies] but to put on over top [an immortal one]
This verse so affirmingly speaks to my fear of death. Oddly enough, when scripture says “Yeah, I get it. I hear you” that doesn’t say to me “Fearing is what you should do. Living in fear is OK.” Rather, the effect is calming and comforting. It says my experience is a part of the real world projected by scripture. It’s on God’s radar.
Ὁ δὲ κατεργασάμενος ἡμᾶς εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο θεός
The one who equipped us for this same thing is God
This thought has been echoing in my experience over the past couple months, as I’ve watched friends suffer unimaginably and God sustain them. God equips us for what we have to deal with when we have to deal with it — death, too.
Are these thoughts directly tied to the original context of the letter? I don’t know. I think I would recognize any red flags of wandering into crazy town, but honestly I’m just not thinking along those lines. The text projects a world and I’m trying to step in and see my world in light of it.
Lingering slowly in 2 Corinthians has been really beneficial this week.