Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 30 - The Wisdom of the Cross

Living Water Community Church - Sunday Morning Worship 
1 Cor 1.18-31 - “The Wisdom of the Cross” 

 In today’s passage, 1 Cor 1.18-31, Paul tells the Corinthian saints that God saves us 
through the foolishness and the weakness of a Messiah who is executed on a cross in order that 
we, the ones who are being saved, will hear the emptiness of all the claims of power and 
privilege that distract us from the hard work of love. Paul says, “God chose the lowly things of 
the world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so 
that no one may boast before him.” That’s the theme of today’s passage. 
 In sixth grade I was in the Montana Middle School Science Fair. I was really proud of my 
project. I seriously expected to get first place. But here’s the dirty little secret--my dad had 
actually done most the work on the project. He came up with the idea; he led me step by step 
through the experiments; he showed me how to organize the data. I put in some time on the 
project, but, in reality, if my presentation board won the gold ribbon, my dad would be the one 
who should put it up on his wall, not me. As things turned out, my science project had plenty of 
holes in it (I was never too good at following my dad’s instructions step-by-step), and the judges 
rated me quite low. 

 Now, I want you to picture my awkward sixth grade self pompously bragging about my 
science fair project to all my science fair friends. It’s pretty ridiculous, right? First, I was 
bragging about work that I hadn’t done, work that my father, not I, had done. Second, my project 
wasn’t even any good. I was bragging about a project that really wasn’t worth all that much. 

 Paul accuses the saints in Corinth of bragging like misguided sixth graders. Last week 
Kristin told us about the division that plagued the saints in Corinth. No unity in their church. 
Instead there were factions, each claiming for itself one of the early teachers to pass through their 
community--Paul, Apollos, Peter, or some, those really “spiritual” ones, claimed to follow no one 
but Jesus. In the passage that we’re studying this week, Paul confronts the empty, deceitful ways 
of thinking that motivate such factions, such divisions. He exposes them to the tragic and 
glorious light of the Messiah executed on a cross, and he directs the saints to stop seeking 
human honors and to seek the God who saves and redeems them. Paul’s words speak to us today 
also. He calls us to change our hearts and to change our actions. So open your Bible, if you 
have one with you, to 1 Cor 1.18, or follow along on the text projected on the wall. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...