Friday, January 30, 2015
1 Corinthians 8:12-13 – But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.
In these verses Paul notes the heart of his message on the eating of food offered to idols – do not act in ways that might hurt the faith of those around you. People may not have the understanding you have…people may not believe the way you believe, but their faith is precious to God.
Everlasting God, help us to remember that we live in community with one another and all of us are your children. Amen.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
1 Corinthians 8:3-4 – “…but anyone who loves God is known by him. Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.”
Paul seems to be saying to some close disciples, “You know and I know there is only one God, so food offered to an idol is just that, food. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Gracious God, give us discerning minds so that we can embrace that which is truly important to you. Amen.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
1 Corinthians 8:1 – Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
I was first introduced to this part of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in a Sunday school class taught by my father in the early 70’s. Paul’s instructions through this passage on how we should treat one another made a significant and life-long impact on me. And it begins with loving one another.
God of love, help us to care for others in ways that honor and support their faith. Amen.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Psalm 111:1-2 – Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.
We are reminded this morning that faith is not just belief, but a process. We are people of faith, and we are also students of faith.
Gracious God, help us to learn your will as we study your great works. Amen.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Jesus teaches in the Temple and Paul speaks of eating the food offered to idols in the readings offered for us. The fourth Sunday of Epiphany includes the following passages: Deuteronomy 18:15-20, Psalm 111, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, and Mark 1:21-28.
Deuteronomy 18:15 – The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet.
Moses is assuring his people that God will always provide a prophet for them, someone who will be able to tell them God’s will. For the Israelites of today’s passage and for us today, discerning the Word of God in the din of life is tough.
Understanding God, help us to hear your voice throughout this day. Amen.
Friday, January 23, 2014
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 – I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions…For the present form of this world is passing away.
Paul lived his life as though Christ would return at any time. While it might be easy to say that Paul missed it by at least 2,000 years, his point is as solid today as it was then. Always live your life in ways that are pleasing to God.
Almighty God, help us to do your will in everything we do. Amen.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Mark 1:19-20 – As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
I was watching a show over the weekend, and a family was getting ready to go fishing at a reportedly hot spot. They claimed that at this place, they would be “catching” rather than “fishing.”
Gracious God, help us to remember that your time is perfect time so that we might be more patient with one another. Amen.