Going Deeper 2-7-20

‚ÄčThe second reading for Epiphany 5...
1 Corinthians 2:1-12  1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4 My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. 6 Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. 7 But we speak God's wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him"— 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

‚ÄčI must make a confession.  I have spent more than four decades seeking to sound increasingly eloquent when it come to expressing Biblical knowledge.  I have sought to proclaim "the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom."  But really... isn't that what teachers/preachers do?

I have come to the point in my ministry life when I see great wisdom in confessing the limitations of my wisdom!  I believe that is what Paul is really saying here.  After all, many parts of his letters collected in our New Testament proclaim the mystery of God with lofty words and great wisdom.  I believe his point is that this is yet another thing which must exist in the context of a creative tension.  

We seek to express the truths of God's word--most notably the mystery of God revealed through the Gospels--in compelling ways.  Our God is an awesome God, and we ought not bore people as we proclaim the beauty and wonder of His ways.  At the very same time, our God is an awesome God, so we should take great care to not pretend we have Him and His ways all figured out and wrapped up in a tidy little box we can proudly display before all the less-wise folks all around us.

At the heart of it all is a rather foolish-sounding truth: the love of God seen in what appeared to be the defeat of a cross.  The Christ crucified.  And yet in that action we see the most powerful truth of all--the undeserved love of God on full display.  He died for me.  He died for you.  Yes, there is more to be said... but it all begins and ends up right there.  The Christ crucified.

With You Under His Grace,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."