Scripture-- 1 Corinthians 1- 1 Corinthians 3
Welcome to the beautiful city of Corinth. Located on the water, halfway between Athens and Sparta, Corinth was a trade route and a meeting place for so many cultures. Paul started a church here around 50 AD. This letter was probably written in Ephesus, while Paul was there starting a church. He wrote back to the people of Corinth, trying to help solve divisions in the church. We will see throughout the manuscript how he preaches for unity and love over theological debates. For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_to_the_Corinthians
Observation: I don't remember ever hearing these words before: (1:21b-25) "Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. 22Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. 23But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. 24Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. 25Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else."
Application: So many things in my life don't make sense. The resurrection. The virgin birth. Why people who have lived healthy lives get cancer. Why kids die. Why others live. Why the children of Nicaragua can be so happy without any things, but kids in America are so sad with all the things in the world. So many things make no sense. And now I'm apparently a Greek! I don't need a miracle or a sign as some translations say. But I need God to make things make sense. I want to understand. But that's not my message. Not that God doesn't want me thinking or trying, but that "even when God is foolish, God is wiser than I am." That even God's weakness is greater than anyone's strength. I'm thankful today that I can give God the power, and surrender. That I can rely on the power of the cross, even if I never understand it. And I pray that we'll find a way to tell the world of this power hidden in "foolishness".
Prayer: God, be my strength today. Be my wisdom today. I'm giving my all to you today, no matter if I understand. I believe you will keep your promises. Amen.