Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 156

The scriptures read are 2 Chronicles 17-19, Psalm 126, and  1 Corinthians 1.

2 Chronicles 17-19. An expanded account of Jehoshaphat's reign. Nothing that says anything about his jumping, though.

Psalm 126. This one looks forward to God taking the present situation and turning it around into something much better. Jews recite this psalm as a grace with meals on the Sabbath. It is also inspiration for the hymn, "Bringing in the Sheaves."

1 Corinthians 1. At one point during my nursing I was starting to think getting old was a very sad time of life. Then I realized that as a nurse, all I was seeing was elderly people who were sick. (Duh!) They weren't necessarily a representative sample. When you read Paul's letters, you get the feeling that the early church had a lot of problems. Then you realize most of his letters were sent in response to problems certain churches had and were asking him about. His advice was so good that they were saved as opposed to any letter he wrote that said, "Just dropping a line to say how great your church is doing. Keep up the good work. Paul."

That said, the Corinthian church had some major problems. Part of that was that it was located in the original Sin City, Corinth. Seriously, the Greeks turn the town's name into a verb that meant "to get debauched." So some of what Paul says is aimed at very specific problems that the church in this party town was dealing with.

Paul begins with some beautiful passages about the gospel. Then he gets to the first problem. The church is turning into factions, cliques, with everyone choosing their favorite Christian leader. Paul wants to nip that talk in the bud. Paul reminds them that at the center of the faith is Christ and the cross. Who Jesus is and what he's done for us and how we respond to that is what's essential.

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