September 29, 2011

Friday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

Friday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

Lectionary

Morning - Ps.69, 2 Sam. 19:1-10, 2 Cor. 8:16
Evening - Ps.51, Mt. 6:1-8

2 Cor. 8:16-24 continue to address the issue of the offering the Corinthians will give to help the poor in Jerusalem. Titus has become very fond of the Corinthians, and is anxious to return to them (8:16-17). It was Titus who delivered the letter of First Corinthians to the people of Corinth. He also stayed with them and helped them work through the letter and return the church to the Apostolic (Biblical) faith. During this time he developed a deep respect and love for their faith and devotion. He met Paul in Macedonia to tell him about the events and results in Corinth. In response to Titus' report, Paul wrote the letter we are now reading and which we know as "Second Corinthians." Titus carried this letter back to Corinth. Along with Titus went at least two others (8:18 & 22). The first was known for his work in the spread of the Gospel (8:18). The other was known to be diligent in the many aspects of the faith (8:22). Both were probably from Macedonian churches. Three men would be less likely to fall prey to the robbers and other dangers on the journey. They would also show the absolute integrity of the mission (8:21). In Jerusalem, the three could affirm where the money had come from and how much was sent. This could also be verified by contacting the churches that gave the money. They could also carry the thanks of the Jerusalem Apostles back to the churches, thus, confirming that the full amount had reached them. This was not done because of doubts about the offering or the men. It was done to show the absolute honesty of all involved, for they knew the false apostles in Corinth would accuse them of lying about their purpose and keeping the money for themselves.

Having stated clearly the trustworthiness of the men (8:23), Paul closes the chapter by urging the Corinthians to be generous. This will prove the Corinthians' love. Paul has "boasted" about the Corinthians to the Church in Macedonia. Having received the good report from Titus, he probably told the Macedonian the Corinthians could be counted on the give generously. Their gifts would show that he was correct.

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