Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable,” states Paul in his letter to the church of Corinth after a lengthy discussion on death and resurrection. Paul’s discussion parallels other Pauline texts as he lays out in different contexts the wrestling between the will of humanity and the will of God. Paul minces words little in this letter to the church.

We can only imagine the temptations for distraction that existed in the ancient world in general. Marriage is different then than in the world we live in today. Spousal expectations are different. Even basic rules of society would be foreign to our understanding now. But we can relate to the difficulties of trying to live a life full of imperishable characteristics in a society that revolves around the perishable. Corinth, whose patron goddess is Aphrodite, is a port city with much traffic and trade. We can understand easily the admonitions Paul gives to the church about what is perishable (bad) and what is imperishable (good). In a bustling port city dependent on the patronage of Aphrodite, it would be easy for anyone to lose focus and to begin to participate in habits that do not represent the realm of God.

While our world today differs from the city of Corinth in some ways, we can pull the basic tenets of inspiration from Paul’s writing. Paul calls us to surround ourselves with those things that represent another realm, those things that represent the kingdom of God. Hate, jealousy, and exploitation cause suffering and harm to our neighbors in our time just as in Paul’s. Paul invites us to surround ourselves with the characteristics of an imperishable society that represents God: love, peace, forgiveness, and justice. We will find these characteristics when we walk closer to the realm of God.

God of all, help us to work to build a world that represents your full presence. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Luke 6:27-38

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Leccionario Semanal
February 18–24, 2019
Resumen de la Escritura

Joseph had experienced betrayal by his brothers and then had been sold into slavery. At the time, he no doubt had felt abandoned by God. However, after God raises up Joseph in Egypt, Joseph is able to provide for his family in a time of drought. Although others have acted with evil intentions, God uses it for good. The psalmist offers a similar encouragement. We struggle in the real challenges that face us, but we believe in a God who can carry us through them. In First Corinthians, Paul explains that God carries us even through death to resurrection glory on the other side. Jesus teaches us to respond to evil with mercy. Because we believe in a God who will ultimately bring justice, we do not need to serve as judge and executioner.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Genesis 45:3-11, 15. How would considering your children’s children to seven generations change the way you make decisions?
Read Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40. What is your relationship to the land on which you live now and the land on which you lived as you grew up?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50. How do you live out the characteristics of God’s imperishable realm?
Read Luke 6:27-38. How do you respond to Jesus’ call to love your enemies as an individual? How does your community of faith follow this gospel requirement?

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