The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved. It is written in scripture: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will reject the intelligence of the intelligent. Where are the wise? Where are the legal experts? Where are today’s debaters? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? In God’s wisdom, he determined that the world wouldn’t come to know him through its wisdom. Instead, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of preaching. Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, which is a scandal to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. But to those who are called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. This is because the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:18–25)
Good Day Family,
Who do you turn to for guidance? How are your thoughts, attitudes, and perspectives formed? What is the greatest influence on your behavior and actions?
We all know what the answers to these questions should be. We know that as Christians, our lives should be most informed and influenced by Jesus. But if we do a deep internal inventory with complete honesty, would we find that we are more influenced by our friends, family, and neighbors? Do we listen to the voices of media personalities and take their wisdom over God’s will and way?
So many people see the Bible as a rulebook, when in fact it is a series of testimonials that offer wisdom. It’s a collection of divinely-inspired stories of real lives and allegories that offer eternal wisdom if we are open to new understanding. Part of gaining new perspective is to approach the text from an unfamiliar vantage point. Most of the time, we encourage ourselves by reading the text through the lens of the faithful ones in the story. We all want to receive the promises given to the children of Israel even when our own behavior more closely resembles pharoah. That’s not comfortable, but our faith was never intended to make us comfortable in our will, but to bring us closer to God, in words and deeds, in spirit and in truth.
During the remaining days of Lent, I encourage all of us to choose one book of the Bible and read it through without assuming that we are the hero in the story. What if we act more like the Israelites complaining in the desert…building false idols so that we can worship a god of our own making? What if we are more like the false prophets who twist the words of God for our own purposes and desires? What if we are like the hypocritical Pharisees who judge the faith of others while neglecting our own spiritual life?
Let us open ourselves to hearing the message of the cross as we move closer and closer to remembering those events as a faith community. Let us seek that wisdom.