Today’s Author: Scott Tunseth

More from the first chapter Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one may boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

A comment made by one of our presenters on Christian nationalism struck me: “Christian nationalism is not about Jesus; it’s about power.” Contrast this statement with Paul’s theological riddle above: Foolish things, weak things, things that are not. A perfect recipe for losing elections, losing status, being overlooked, being on the bottom rung of the ladder, being insignificant, being puny, being abused . . . should I go on?

How foolish of God! Where’s the power in that? Having the power and being in control are so baked into our recipe for successful living. Come on, admit it. None of us want to be considered weak or foolish or insignificant. And most of us in truth have enjoyed a certain level of privilege simply because of the color of our skin. I don’t really know what it feels like to be truly weak or insignificant by the world’s standards.

Paul is not suggesting that the followers of Jesus become a wimpified group of losers. Far from it. But there is a caution here: when we boast about how wise or strong or significant we are, we are in danger of falling into a trap. Who needs God if we are all these things anyway? How foolish of us! 

The followers of Jesus walk a kind of tightrope, teetering between the pull of worldly power and the accumulation of stuff and called life of service and love to the neighbor. But if falling on the side of love and service makes us fools, so be it.

[God], you are our maker, our lover, our keeper. Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. Amen. (From a prayer of Julien of Norwich in Lutheran Book of Worship, p. 87)

Mid-week devotions are authored by members of our community.  If you are interested in creating a trio of reflections to be shared on an upcoming Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, contact Pastor Peter.