Scripture: 1 Cor 1: 1-19
Key verses: (2-3) 2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord[a] and ours:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reflection: My high school Sunday school class loved our teacher. Mr. Bill was loud and a bit unorthodox in everything he did. He showed up every Sunday but didn’t have a clue what he was teaching. Over king cake, we bombarded him with questions about where to find Lent in the bible and he admitted he didn’t know. He came clean to us and committed to learning together. That season of Lent, we did more than eat king cake…we immersed ourselves in scripture, we shared prayer requests and fasted. We came every week and it changed us.
Mr. Bill was a saint. He stumbled into redemption late in life and walked with us on a journey to experience something holy during Lent. I have thought about him many times over the years and used him as an example when I teach teachers. It is hard to explain a technique he used, because he didn’t quite get teenagers. We once had to train him to eat at fast food places instead of places that had white tablecloths! When I read this passage I finally got it: Mr. Bill knew he was broken and flawed, but he also knew we were called to be saints, together.
Together, in all of our brokenness, our class grew together in our faith and life. We experienced God in the chaotic moments of life when we couldn’t make sense of anything and didn’t have words to fix the crisis. What we did have, was a group of people who came together every week at church: people who prayed for and with each other, like when our classmate died or Mr.Bill’s wife went into a treatment center.
The experiences of God at these moments of grace were not the result of perfecting our Lenten disciplines or some sainthood. They grew out of the mundane, week-to-week religious life with the ritual of passing peace, sharing a meal and praying together. It grew out of repetition, the gathering every week in community, a simple discipline. Maybe it started as a Lenten discipline but it became part of who we were. We found that when we practiced that discipline and showed up, many times Jesus would show up too.
Prayer: God, may I see my role in the community of faith and your covenant people. Guide us on this journey of Lent to stretch our hearts individually and corporately.Amen
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].