Tuesday before Proper 4: 1 Corinthians 16:13-24
Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:13-24
In the worst sports movie you’ve ever seen, there’s this most-obvious-advice moment near the end where the coach says one last meaningful thing to the kid who’s about to go out on the field/court/pitch/whatever to win whatever unlikely championship this whole thing has been building toward. It’s a kind of placeholder for the last moment that you might wonder if the kid will pull it off after all, and it’s as though the writers have put it there so that you know right then that, should the kid/team lose, you can come back to this moment and apply the coach’s sage advice to your own life. Cynical? Maybe. But right now you’re trying to decide which of 5-8 movies I’m talking about.
Paul’s words here to the church at Corinth nearly have that kind of ring to them; it’s super-obvious-yet-comforting: “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. Now go knock ‘em dead” (v. 13-14, italics mine). But this is before cheeseball Americana kicked in. This is before Christians felt like they deserved to win. This is before victory felt assured. Heck, this is before they even had a clue what sport they were playing. It was all new. These words from Paul would have been an unbelievable comfort.
When did we lose the ability to feel that level of gratitude just to participate in this faith?
What things remain incredibly meaningful to you about your faith?
What things have lost some of their shine for you? Can that be restored?
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