And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. —2 Corinthians 3:18
“Imagine ordinary people arguing about sexuality and money and leadership and how to be faithful. Paul cuts underneath all those disputes to remind these day-to-day Christians that they are not ordinary people, but they have at the core of their existence an implosion of God’s holiness that reshapes and redefines everything. What counts finally is that the incursion of God’s holiness touches our lives and our life together, or it does not matter at all…
Paul wants, first of all, to keep Christians at Corinth connected to Jesus as the decisive point of their lives: “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. . . . all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:4, 18). Paul makes a simple but crucial affirmation that it is exactly in Jesus, only in the Lord, that the full holiness of God has touched down in human life.
The church at Corinth is not called to pious, romantic, goosey religion but simply to practice the memory of Jesus and to let that memory be fully present tense. When that story of Jesus is present tense, we are able to sort out and identify all the empty claims where God’s holiness and God’s power for life do not reside, where God’s power for life is not embodied or enacted.”
- Walter Brueggemann (A Way Other Than Our Own)