Thursday, March 24, 2011

1 Corinthians 9

Paul, it seems is reminding the church in Cornith that they are to be held accountable not just to one another but also to him. He cares deeply for them and is not afraid to give them advice when they ask for it.

What is at stake is that the people in the church have become believers yet they act the same way they did before they believe. There is still in-fighting and there are still favorites. Focus is on the individual and not on what God does through the individual. Paul is stepping in because their actions now are becoming destructive in the community.

He reminds them that who ever they are around, believers or non believers they need to remain true to God's calling and presence in their lives. Paul reminds us that belief is not just something we talk about, it is something we live.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

1 Corinthians 8

In the Corinthian church there were members who had exposure to idol worship or perhaps had worshiped idols before becoming Christian. So the question had come up, what are we do at a potluck dinner where meat that has been offered to an idol is present? Believers from the Jewish tradition understood that there is one God and knew that there were no idols and that the meat was just meat. However Gentile believers might be confused if they saw their brothers and sisters in Christ eating meat that had been offered to an idol. They might wonder if as followers of Jesus they could also worship idols. Paul's advice is not to trip up fellow believers and refrain from eating the meat even if you know it is just meat. Our concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ should be one of our primary focuses.

I Corithians 7

We are a new creation in Christ and Christ calls us to embrace the Spirit's presence in every area of our lives. The gift of the Holy Spirit is an amazing, powerful, mysterious gift. It builds up God's presence in us, resulting in greater humility and reliance upon God. Paul reminds us not to be focused on our achievements or the achievements of others but on God and on what God can do through us. Comparing and competition do not have a place in Kingdom work. Emptying ourselves so that we can be filled with God is what we are to do. We participate in God's mission and ministry we do not own it. We should feel blessed to be a part of it.

I Corinthians 5-6

Paul reminds us that we are not to tolerate behavior that breaks relationships, or abuses boundaries. As members of Christ's church we are to maintain communities where healing and wholeness can occur. We are also to be agents of reconciliation and forgiveness, striving each day to follow Christ more closely. We are to honor the sacredness of our own bodies and to maintain healthy boundaries and respect for others.

1 Corinthians 4

Paul reminds us that leaders, just like everyone else serve Christ. Our focus should always be on Jesus and ministry should be based on our following of Christ. I can remember learning about this in seminary, we were to remind ourselves that we are called to do God's ministry not our own. Sustainable ministry is grounded in the following of God period.

Easter ... ready ... set ... go!

Matthew 28:1-10 About three years ago I committed to the Narrative Lectionary.   It is a four-year cycle that takes the congregation t...