Saturday, March 21, 2020

In their own words: Day 25

1 Corinthians 1.27

God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.

Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth is a mammoth letter – sixteen chapters long – and contains some long and complex arguments which challenge the Corinthians profoundly. Their church, founded by Paul, seems to be in some chaos, with different factions splitting over whether to follow his lead or that of Apollos, a preacher who has come from the city of Alexandria, a major site of learning in the ancient world. Apollos is an “eloquent man, well-versed in the scriptures” Acts 18.24, but he has to be set straight by the leaders of the church, Priscilla and Aquila, on some basics of the Christian story. He thinks he is wise because he has studied a lot of philosophy, but Paul has learned life lessons the hard way. He had had to change his mind, and his life, following his vision of Jesus on the Damascus road. With all his learning, he had got it wrong. Paul reminds the Corinthians that God often speaks through failure, shame and littleness, the times we get it wrong rather than the times when we get it right.

·         What lessons has life taught you “the hard way”?

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