Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 28, 2019
Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 1 Corinthians 10:6 (NRSV)
I grew up in the church. Services on Wednesday and twice on Sunday. Potlucks. Summer camp. Service projects. On and on I could go. Each and every experience was formative and shaped me into the person I am today. And as I look back, I hope for many of the same experiences for my own children. I long for them to know the church to be a place where they are loved unconditionally and welcomed as family. Yet as good and holy as these experiences were and are, I am acutely aware that one can be fully within the family of faith yet remarkably distant from God.
St. Paul linked the story of the infant church in Corinth to the long story God had told through the people of Israel. He holds up a robust vision of baptism and communion as the two great signs that one is incorporated into this family story. In short, he says “it’s the same food and drink as Moses ate and drank, yet his disobedience left him dead in the wilderness!” (1 Corinthians 10:1-5) One can be in the family, in a place of favored communion with God, and still with hearts and lives running in the other direction.
“So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Very few of us are consciously aware of evil and brokenness in our lives and happily walk in that direction. Evil is far more subtle, our intentions far more elusive. You and I can be fully convinced of the virtue of our ways and the integrity of our decisions, even if they are leaving a wake of chaos and destruction at every turn.
It is good to remember that we aren’t the first people to live through economic hardship, relational heartbreak, or vocational restlessness. As each generation faces these questions and countless more, some men and women faithfully and beautifully walk in the way of Jesus and leave an example to be followed for years to come. At the same time, there are others who are led down the path of destruction by their own sin and selfishness. As such, always be quick to listen and quick to learn.
Continue to press in faithfully to the means of grace that God gives to his people: baptism, communion, community, confession and forgiveness, and prayer. Yet always remember that these channels of his grace are meant to encourage and fan into flame a heart fully alive with his love and life.
Father, help us to look to the examples of old and learn from their ways, that our hearts may be free from evil and alive to you. Amen.
Where in your life are you stuck, going through the religious motions?
God’s grace is meant to encourage and fan into flame a heart fully alive with his love and life. #WisdomHunters #desireGod
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