The messenger and the message

Daily reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Wednesday April 27, 2016

Focus passage: Thank God that I didn’t baptize any of you, except Crispus and Gaius, so that nobody can say that you were baptized in my name!  1 Corinthians 1:14-15

Rather than feel some sense of pride that they remember him and his contribution, Paul really plays it off, yes he baptized some, and sort of rambles on a foggy memory of who he plunged into the baptismal waters, emphasizing the perspective he holds.  He didn’t baptize them into a community that was based on his leadership, he baptized them into the community of Christ.

To bring the point home he asks “Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in Paul’s name?”  Of course we know the answer is no.
What has happened is that the community was confusing the messenger with the message.  

Tunnel vision or stubbornness had set in.  Perhaps it was an ugly word spoken at a fellowship meal, or perhaps someone’s voice wasn’t heard in a meeting, or perhaps someone was left out of the circle of communication.  Regardless of what started the tension, things got out of hand.  As we will move through this letter, we will see Paul attempting to heal one grievance after another.

Pettiness and division consumed them.  In the midst of it all Paul must have wondered, how the brilliant light of Christ could have been extinguished.   

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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