Whether we’re concerned with technical theological terms or popular seasonal greetings, the words we use matter because the God we worship lives. Our words are either an aid or hindrance to seeing the living God; the One Word Who changed everything.
One word is the difference in our life together. One Word is the difference between love and hate, between light and darkness, between life and death. One Word makes all the difference.
Love because God first loved us. Love in the way that God first loved us.
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
A follower of Jesus looks a lot more like a fool in love than a professional in control…
We are invited to be fools in love with the Lord, living in the knowledge that all is set right in Christ, even when all the world seem to be more broken each day. We’re invited to embrace our weaknesses when the whole world seems to assume that might makes right. When the world tells us to lie and to hide our true selves behind possessions or jobs or trophies – we’re invited to be vulnerable, sharing our stories, exposing our wounds because through the wounded body of Christ, the whole world finds healing.
At the heart of our faith is a God who has a really annoying habit of doing just about everything the wrong way. God doesn’t give prepackaged answers to life’s most challenging questions. God rarely, if ever, wraps things up in a nice and tidy bow so that we always know the one, right, only way forward. At the heart of our faith is a God who said I love you so much that I will die for you. I am powerful enough that I will lay down all that I am and all that I have to be by your side through all that is to come.
In a world without simple, clear answers around every corner, there is no other sure foundation than the love and acceptance of King Jesus. Without that foundation, fear is all we have left. Upon that foundation, there is no challenge or problem or unknown pathway too daunting. Embracing the cross of Christ means embracing the challenge to give up control and learn to trust in the Lord.
When forgiveness gets down deep inside to that place we’d rather hold on to, that place where we hide our failures, that place we push down our insecurities; when forgiveness gets that deep inside – that is the moment when Jesus Christ lifts us up to healing and wholeness.
As followers of God, we can never settle for a world of the haves and the have nots. There is too great a chasm between the two, too great a separation to be left alone. That’s not a call for you to give all you have to someone else, but a challenge for you to live all you can with someone else – with someone who doesn’t look and act and think like you – someone who needs the gifts you have to offer; and someone whose gifts you didn’t even know you needed to receive.
If we do not work to overcome the divides; if we do not encounter the love of God that heals our wounds and overcomes our brokenness – then we might as well be the rich man eating sumptuously every day. And if we do not commit to being good stewards of the many blessings God has given us, we cannot hope to transform the world.
God has always chosen and used broken and imperfect people to build the kingdom of God. There never was and never will be a perfect group of spotless Christian people. But every time we gather, we remember that God has always invited us to be the hands and feet of Christ. God has always empowered us to be salt and light. God has always chosen us to be the vehicle through which God will love and transform the whole world.
1 Corinthians 3:1-9