What I’m Reading Today: 1 Corinthians 1
Just before I started reading the first chapter of 1 Corinthians, I took some time and read Eugene Peterson’s introduction to the book. Two of the sentences jumped out at me right away. Those sentences read: “The people of Corinth had a reputation in the ancient world as an unruly, hard-drinking, sexually promiscuous bunch of people. When Paul arrived with the Message and many of them became believers in Jesus, they brought their reputations with them right into the church.”
Those words reminded me that each of our faith communities is often a collection of folks from a variety of faith backgrounds. Each of us responds to those backgrounds a little differently. Some people, for instance, embrace those backgrounds and want pieces incorporated of that background incorporated into their new faith community. Others figure they have left their previous faith tradition for a reason and want nothing whatsoever to do with anything that reminds them of the faith tradition they left.
On the surface, you would think this makes it impossible to live together in a faith community – for no matter what you do, there will always be those who disagree. Even those who come from identical backgrounds! Believe me, there are days when it feels impossible to live together. But I do believe there is a way to go forward and live together as a community.
And what is that way?
By focusing on what unites us instead of that which separates us. Here’s how Paul talked about it. “But to us who are personally called by God Godself – both Jews and Greeks – Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one” (1 Corinthians 1:24 from The Message).
Today I would invite you to consider the way(s) in which you carry yourself. Do you tend to be drawn to those things that separate us (things like backgrounds and personal preferences); or are you drawn to that which unites us?
Til next time…