Daily reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Tuesday April 26, 2016

Focus passage: What I mean is this: that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” “I belong to Apollos,” “I belong to Cephas,” “I belong to Christ.”  Has Christ been divided?  Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in Paul’s name? 1 Corinthians 1:12-13

Corinth was a port city that was originally created as a colony for freed slaves.  It was a town of diversity.  With its location on the water, it was a trade city and also the capital city of Achaica.  Paul founded the Christian community in Corinth, which was most likely as diverse as the inhabitants of the city.  It really then shouldn’t be surprised to us that such a young church is facing the reality of division.  

Paul was called to proclaim the gospel to Gentiles and the communities he formed were a mixture of Jews and Gentiles.  That combination of two distinct religious cultures proved to be challenging.

Disunity seems to be rampant in the church in Corinth.  The unity that had brought them together to form a community of faith quickly dissolved.

What we see is allegiance to certain preachers in their community.  Paul acknowledges that he along with many others have preached and baptized members.  And so in their disunity they begin to claim that they belong to the leader they follow.  “I belong to Paul” or “I belong to Apollos” or “I belong to Cephas” … “I belong to Christ.”

These sort of factions happen in congregations, we take sides and lose our focus on Christ and his call for us to set aside the things that cause division so we can focus on the essentials that bind us together.  

Prayer: God, in the places in the world where I find division, help me to be a bridge builder. In the places in my life where I find division, help me to see the fundamentals of unity and allow the things that are not essential to fall away. Amen.


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