Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Reflection: Paul, in this famous section from 1 Corinthians, makes it clear that the message and mission of Jesus is completely foreign to all people, whether God’s people or not. Any attempt to understand Jesus from a human perspective will fail, and we’ll end up missing the point. This has happened all over the world, and throughout time, of course. Whenever we see churches supporting the agendas of politicians or corporate leaders – as happened in South Africa during apartheid, and as is often the case with prosperity preachers – we know that people are trying to understand Jesus from the perspective of human values.
Whenever we think that faith is a pathway to certain wealth, popularity, and security, we have misunderstood the call of Christ. The idea of a crucified Messiah was anathema to the Jewish people who were hoping for a military liberator. The idea of a dying God was illogical to the Greeks who were influenced by their philosophers and thinkers. Yet, this is exactly what the Gospel asks us to believe and embrace.
Dying to live; the first becoming last and the last first; children as the leaders; forgiving enemies – these are not the ideas that help us “get ahead” in human terms. But, they are the ways to abundant life, if we are willing to believe them. What “human” perspectives on Christ do you need to release today? What “foolishness” do you need to embrace?
Practice for Today: One of the reasons that worship has always included the arts and has always welcomed children, is that we need to be reminded of the importance of play. Both artists and children know instinctively that play leads us into new and surprising insights and wisdom. Today, try to make play – especially play that involves some foolishness – part of your worship of God.
Prayer for Today: God of foolish wisdom and strong weakness, teach me to find your truth in playfulness today.