1 Cor, Epiphany 3A


From 1st Corinthians~~

1:10 Now 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.      

1:11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters.

Get out of town! Church people, quarreling? I've never heard of such a thing!

But seriously, folks…

What are the things we quarrel about at church? They don't tend to be very high-natured. We fuss over a page layout in the newsletter or a bit of punctuation in the annual report or a missed announcement in the Sunday bulletin. We fuss over flowers. And if someone wants to talk about something potentially more explosive, we clam up or complain in private, or in the parking lot.

I would love to have an open conversation about Communion (why do some people feel walking forward is so terrible? Can we get to the roots of that disagreement somehow?).

I would love to explore the adamant attitude some people hold about having an American flag in the sanctuary, and I would love to be heard myself.

I would love to talk about what gives anyone the idea that being rude to a church member or to the pastor is just a way of doing business in church meetings. I would love to talk about why some people think it's okay to drop an accusation against another person's honesty and then move on saying, "I got to state my opinion, I'm satisfied."

I want to think it's a 21st century phenomenon, a product of talk radio and political TV shows. But I fear it's not. I fear it's been with us all along. It's human. But I want the church to improve on other human systems, for people to remember the reason they are together: to be the body of Christ, to transcend our personal issues and be transformed, to be saved, ultimately, from ourselves.

1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.      

1:18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.