I am thankful that God has called me to a diverse congregation. If we were of one mind on everything I doubt we would be as successful.
I suspect that Paul particularly liked the church at Corinth because it too had a some strong personalities leading to some sharp differences of opinion. Yet to this church he began his letter:
I give thanks to my God always for you
because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,
— 1 Corinthians 1:4
Paul did not thank this church for their work, not for the work of particular individuals, not for the work of particular factions with whom he might have agreed at least occasionally, but thanks for what God was doing in them and through them.
Similarly I am thankful for the diversity in this congregation, for when we disagree as well as when we agree. Our disagreements, when approached with Christian tolerance for one another, help us practice our strengths and nurture our weaknesses transforming our imperfections into new strengths.
Just as we benefit from a diverse diet, we also benefit from diverse experiences.
I will have more to say about verses 1 through 9 of the 1st chapter of Paul’s first Letter to the Church at Corinth on Sunday, January 15th, 2017 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor