Living a Life of Congruence
Posted in Wisdom
Appreciating Our Differences, Focusing on Our Core
“For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
From Eugene H. Peterson’s As Kingfishers Catch Fire: “There are seventeen Christian congregations in the first century that we know about, some more than others, but at least something. Of all of them, the congregation in Corinth is my favorite. It is not the best. Philippi was probably that. It is not the most influential. Jerusalem was probably that. It was not the largest. Ephesus was probably that. It was not the most strategic. Antioch was probably that. But it was the earthiest.”
In my Solid Rock Sunday School class, we have been studying the Reformation, its history, civil and religious impact, and where we are today as a result. Tendrils of truth about us permeate the history we study. It is hard to escape the violent history and raging discord of the church as it developed. As Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, he acknowledged that they came from far different cultural backgrounds with different attitudes and ingrained religious practices. And they argued with each other. I can imagine some cantankerous people, knowing that their way is the right way, showed little patience to their fellow Christians. Paul wrote to pull them back to their core putting Christ in the center.
Eastminster has seen division and discord but survived by our keeping centered on Christ. We may have strong differences of opinion, and each of us knows we are right, but we each have to keep centered on God’s message to us through Christ. The church in Corinth was robust because of their differences, which added to their strength. Paul helped to corral the strong personalities and widely varying cultures by reminding them why they were together not why they could fall apart. Eastminster is a robust church that is always growing and changing. As long as we keep centered on Christ crucified, we will not lose our way.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for keeping our church robust yet centered on the gift of your Son to us. Help us to be mindful of our differences and to appreciate what we have in common, that we have Christ in our center.
Submitted by: Janet Katz