Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:1-13
Key verses: (1-5) 1When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
Reflection: I’ve got a new Bible Study meeting weekly here at the church. With a great group of women, some stellar small group facilitators, and good material, we have a year of growing in faith ahead of us. I’ll admit to a little trepidation, however. It’s been a couple of years since I taught a weekly study to adults. I fear that my talking-to-grownups teaching skills are rusty. My instinct is to want to cram for the teaching portion of the study. I might need to refresh my memory on the origins and structure of the book of Genesis and the rest of the Pentateuch, since I’m a little fuzzy on recent scholarship on the four-source theory I learned in seminary. And where exactly was Abram when God made that amazing promise to him for a people, and a place, and God’s own presence? Shechem, Bethel, Canaan? (But ask me about teaching Abraham and Sarah to kids, and I’m good.)
These verses from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians remind me that faith rests not on human wisdom, including my own or any other teacher, but on the power of God. While it’s part of my job to share teaching that helps bring God’s Word to life, it doesn’t have to be with lofty words, or a perfect grasp of centuries of Bible history. Instead, we come to our task in humility and faith. All that any of us teach must point to Christ, and any wisdom that comes is from God’s own Spirit. Paul knows that it is the Spirit of God that calls forth faith, and illumines the Word made flesh. If we bear witness to Christ on the page, and in our classrooms and worship spaces, and in our lives, we will all grow in faith and in wisdom, through the grace of God. Abraham himself set out on a journey with nothing but a promise that God would be with him. Maybe we can do the same in whatever tasks lie ahead of us all this year.
Prayer: Lord, you know what I worry about, my insecurities and fears. And yet you call me to tasks that further your kingdom. And you promise to be with me. Your Spirit equips me to do whatever it is you call me to do. Teach me, once again, faith and trust in you. Use me. In the name of Christ, the Holy One, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[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].