My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The Peace of the Lord be with you!
As we continue in this “Season of Light”, we noted last Sunday, the centrality of the Word of God and its outworking in the ministries of the Church. Today, Paul’s points us to the power of God’s love that undergirds these ministries. Although Paul could have created a “wow factor” with a show of gifts in his approach to the congregants in Corinth, he chose instead to allow the power of God’s love to do its work in and through him. Had he chosen to showcase his “gifts and graces” Paul would have only become a “noisy gong” or a “clanging cymbal” and added to the division that was mounting in the church. By choosing not to, Paul made a wise choice. Here, the opportunity was used to help the congregation to understand that their faith was not dependent on their gifts or themselves but upon the presence and power of God’s love.
What about us? Do we depend upon the power of God’s love to do its work in us and in others? Or do we depend on the “honourable” or “unhonourable” gifts we possess? An unhealthy focus on gifts rather than the Giver of those gifts can easily lead to a “feverish mood”, confusion in the church, a loss of membership, weakening of faith and a reduction in so many things. A dependence on the power of God’s love leads to the opposite - spiritual and numerical growth, a deepening of faith and expansion in many areas. Out of a struggle to bring awareness to child cruelty and empowered by God’s love, social reformer, Benjamin Waugh, said it well in his hymn, “Now Let us See Thy Beauty, Lord” (260 VIP).
Our every feverish mood is cooled,
And gone is every load,
When we can lose the love of self,
And find the love of God.
Have a loving week!
Your pastor and friend,
Mark S. Christmas