Daily Devotion 01 April 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.
1 Corinthians 13:18-25 ‘Christ the Power and Wisdom of God’

18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

A couple of years ago the National Geographic announced that they would stop publishing photographs of naked animals: “The media group says that it will no longer degrade animals by showing photos of them without clothes” (1) Their website consequently had a section with cute cats and dogs suitably ridiculously clothed, made up, and posed – no doubt to the hilarity of those at the publication, and the groans of those who clicked on it, drawn in by the story! What’s the best April Fool’s Joke you’ve come across?

Paul’s words basically strike at the heart of incredulity which has to be present if faith is to be genuine and real: how can it be that God should love the world like this? How can it be that God should experience human life – including suffering, including death – in Jesus Christ? How can it be that in Jesus, God shows us supreme love, sacrifice supreme devotion to both God and our neighbour. How can it be that God loves ME this much? Paul asks the church at Corinth, some of whom came from Jewish backgrounds, others were Gentiles (non-Jews e.g. Greeks, Romans, Asians) to be open to believing that God’s greatness is real. It’s no joke, folks, God’s love for us is here with us now and will be forever.

God of Wisdom and Power,
open our hearts and mind to your possibilities
and our very being to the reality of your love for your creation.
May we relax our hold on earthly wisdom; the values which do not reflect your kingdom.
May we instead embrace with humility the Saviour who suffered and died for us,
the one who accepts us just as we are – just as you made us.
For you are a God whose foolishness is wiser than our wisdom,
and whose power is greater than our strength.
So it is on you, and you alone God, on whom we can always rely. Amen.

(1) https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/04/160401-april-fools-day-animals-pictures/
Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Paul Tabraham.
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