Paul proclaims “God’s wisdom, secret and hidden.” The light
of Christ that blinded him on the road to Damascus has
filled his heart and mind. Freed from his blindness, he receives
strength through the Spirit to follow Christ through hardships,
dangers, and abuse.
Paul contrasts God’s wisdom with human wisdom. Rather
than “lofty words or [human] wisdom,” he preaches Christ
crucified. This stumbling block in the gospel brings persons to
faith not as a result of human wisdom but through “the power
of God.” The focus of Paul‘s preaching and teaching reveals the
creative power that brought order from chaos and lightened the
darkness at the beginning of time. It is not revealed through
elegant preaching but by the witness and faith of persons so
filled with light that those who encounter them discover their
As a pastor I have found myself in situations that made me
feel completely inadequate given the magnitude of the pain and
suffering involved: a young child choking to death in the arms
of his mother, the suicide of a young college student, or the
deaths of a husband and only child in a boating accident. I have
walked into tragedies not knowing what to say or do. The lofty
words of my human wisdom cannot fill the void.
In those circumstances, I must, with Paul, rely on my faith
in the Spirit to speak God’s wisdom to those experiencing such
unimaginable loss. We in our weakness and fear can allow the
power of God to work in us. Only then may we adequately
share the gospel of Christ with others. Only then may we be
truly present to those who are in need ofcomfort, love, and
Lord, may we speak and proclaim Christ crucified out of your wisdom and power. Amen.
Living genuinely out of a deep inner sense of connectedness to the Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) is a common theme for this week’s texts. By living out of this spiritual center, we match our actions with our words and avoid the judgment the prophet Isaiah casts upon the people of Israel. Psalm 112 is a hymn of praise for the blessings God brings upon those who revere and follow. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he urges them to move beyond their irtation with wisdom and to go to the deeper regions of the Spirit, the source of true wis- dom. And, nally, Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, calls his listeners to move beyond the mere words of the law to the deep meaning and intent of the law.
• Read Isaiah 58:1-12. When have you felt strengthened by God for a particular task? How did your light “break forth like the dawn”?
• Read Psalm 112:1-10. Where have you been a light to those struggling in the shadows?
• Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-16. When have you faced unimaginable circumstances and had no words to speak? How did God’s wisdom help you in those times?
• Read Matthew 5:13-20. How do you ful ll God’s intended purpose for you as salt and light to the world?
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