I am taking a bit of a break from my normal daily lectionary reading and going back to something I have enjoyed my adult life walking with Christ. It is to walk slowly through a book of the Bible and pray. I like walking through a book of the Bible and study, pray, think devotionally, theologically, etc. This is something that has bubbled up in my spirit lately, so I asked the Lord where to land and I find myself in 1 Corinthians.
Some initial thoughts: We struggle, as believers, with age-old questions. The Corinthians struggled with their cultural identity and cultural values being a part of their lives as believers. They valued what Corinth valued, of course. How to separate that out was the issue. The values of speech, wisdom, and status were huge. Paul needed them to move past those elements into Kingdom thinking.
We struggle with our culture’s values and often make “Kingdom” values look a lot like cultural values (or political values, if we’ll be honest). We need the call of Paul in this first part of 1 Corinthians again. We need the cross of Jesus Christ. We need the definitive work of the cross of Christ once again. We need it more than ever.
What is needed less is the “Balkanization” of Christianity that we’re seeing and more of the unifying work of the Cross.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18, NIV)