Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 18-31
God’s ways and the world’s ways are often at odds. In our daily lives we are constantly pulled in both directions. God calls us to be loving and kind while the world fills our screens and airwaves with shows and songs that show selfishness and having fun at the expense of others. God calls us to be generous and giving while the world touts the latest gadget, the newest car, the next best thing. God calls us to live as servants to others while the world says do what it takes to get to the top. These are but a few of the many ways that God’s ways and the world’s ways are at odds.
When Paul writes, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing”, we have many examples. When we take the message of the cross out into the world, when we love and serve people radically, as Jesus did, people often do not understand. They wonder, ‘Why would you do this for me’? ‘Why would you come here and bring food, water, blankets’? ‘Why would you…’? When we respond with “Because God loves you”, it sounds like foolishness to those who are perishing.
Paul also writes of how when we “preach Christ crucified”, it is a stumbling block, it seems foolish. In our culture, it is a stumbling block to ask someone to love God more than they love themselves. It is a stumbling block to ask someone to genuinely love all of their neighbors. It becomes foolishness when we explain what it really means to love others as Jesus first loved us. Why would Jesus do that? And then there is the ‘cost’ of following Jesus that is a big stumbling block to many. Sacrifice seems foolish. Until they themselves have felt God’s radical love, it does seem a foolish step for a non-believer to take.
For those who believe and call on Jesus Christ as Lord, Christ is the power and the wisdom of God. In Christ our weakness is great strength, our foolishness is much wisdom. “Christ Jesus… our righteousness, holiness and redemption”. Christ alone can save. He is no stumbling block but is the rock upon which we stand. Christ Jesus is the only way, the only truth, the only life worth living. May the Lord our God bless our living in His ways this day, always sharing the way to life eternal with a world that is perishing.