Thursday, November 1, 2012

no divisions

Good afternoon friends,
Last night's Halloween party at the church was lots of fun. Thanks to all who helped or donated to make it a success. Next week Supper and Scripture will be back to normal. We'll also be starting a series at the Boulevard Bar and Grill across the street from the church from 8:30-10pm. The idea is to have open conversations about important questions in life. The series is open to everyone, regardless of faith; in fact, I'm especially hoping for people who feel like they have lots of questions or skepticism about traditional religion. As long as you're interested in having thoughtful, respectful, open minded discussion, this series is for you. It's also a great time to invite a friend.

Today's reading is important in the light of the divisions our culture faces, which are highlighted by a national election. Paul writes to the Christians in Corinth about the importance of unity. He doesn't mean that everyone has to agree about everything or be the same. Instead, he means that no matter whether we agree, we are not supposed to let our leaders or opinions divide us. It seems that in the church at that time some people were taking a lot of pride in identifying with different church leaders and were looking down on people who followed other leaders. Paul's point is that human leaders are not the main idea: Jesus is. Whichever candidates you prefer, don't let that divide you from people who prefer different candidates. In Christ we are all united.

God bless,

1 Corinthians 1:4-14
4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— 6just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— 7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

10Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. 12What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 

14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)

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