Archives: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Tuesday: We Need Each Other to Find Jesus

There two groups of people in our readings for today, Jews and Greeks.

The first important thing to realize here is that these words are only superficially referring to ethnic groups.

For both John and Paul, “Jews” and “Greeks” are not people of Jewish heritage or people who were born in Greece.

Jews and Greeks are people of two different spiritual personalities.

Consider our texts about Jews and Greeks for Tuesday in Holy Week. We have a story and a theological description.

The story comes from the Gospel of John: “Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.’”

It’s actually an unfinished story. We don’t know if the Greeks actually met Jesus or not.

They probably did, and heard Jesus’ teaching on the grain of wheat falling into the earth. But let’s come back to this in a moment.

Our other description of Jews and Greeks comes from Paul in 1 Corinthians: “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.”

Here we have Paul describing these two types of spiritual personalities.

What can we learn from these two passages? Continue reading

Fish Out of Water

The thing about being a fish is that you don’t know that you’re swimming in water.

The thing about being an American is that you don’t know you’re addicted to success.

For the fish, the water is its whole world.

It does not even register on whatever primitive consciousness the fish may have that it is in this liquid medium, and that there is another whole world of air and space that exists outside of it.

Unfortunately for the fish, he can’t survive outside of the water, so he’s probably better off not knowing about the world of air.

We humans are in a similar situation.

From virtually the day we are born, we are taught to orient ourselves toward success.

As we learn to walk and talk, we receive praise for each new word and each new step.

As we grow up and go to school, we learn how to get the affirmation and attention we need by conforming to the expectations of adults and peers.

And as adults, we climb the career ladder, try to make more money, get a bigger house, take more impressive vacations, get more promotions.

We count each trophy our children earn and tick off each box on their college prep resumes.

There’s nothing wrong with this orientation toward progress per se.

In fact, it helps us accomplish a lot of good things in our lives.

If we didn’t value and strive toward success, we never would have learned to walk and talk and read and get into college or get a job.

We need success to get the basics of life taken care of.

But just like the fish, there is a whole world outside this water of success orientation that we don’t know about. Continue reading

Wednesday: We Are April Fools

How could it be that it was only a week between the crowds shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” and then shouting, “Crucify him!”?

We’re stuck right the in the middle of that week, trapped between triumph and despair, and today is the day of betrayal.

How apropos that today is also April Fool’s Day.

The interesting thing that I learned is that the placement of April Fool’s Day on April 1st may be related to the fact that it is exactly one week after the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25.

One week ago today, the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would bear a son, a child, and name him Jesus.

The promise of the salvation of the world awoke like a star within her that day. And today, just a week later, we are reading of Judas betraying Jesus unto death. Again—just a week!

How could things turn to such disaster in just a week?

I imagine people began celebrating April Fool’s Day a week after the Annunciation because it must have been about a week later that Mary realized what a fool she was to say yes to Gabriel’s crazy proposal. Continue reading

© 2017 Roof Crashers and Hem Grabbers