“Since we are faithful, why do we suffer?” Is perhaps the oldest religious question. A question that many ask even this day.
Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians is likely a response to a long list of questions and complaints from disciples in a congregation that Paul had started some years earlier. While we do not have the message that the Corinthians had sent, Paul’s response gives us clues about the issues they wanted him to address. Perhaps they asked something like: We’ve been baptized and we celebrate the Lord’s Supper regularly. Why hasn’t Christ stopped the authorities from harassing us?
Today we might update their question to: We’ve been baptized and we celebrate the Lord’s Supper regularly. Why hasn’t Christ stopped cancer or storms or … from harassing us?
Paul answered that question with an allegorical summary of the Exodus, citing Israel’s passage from the sea a kind of baptism and their drinking water that Christ had sent via a rock as a kind of Communion. Yet Israel also suffered in the desert, putting Christ to the test with immorality and idolatry. Would Christ challenge us about making technology an idol?
I will have more to say about 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church at 8:15 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 24th.
Robert Shaw, Pastor
A Tip for Parents
Today, perhaps more so than ever, even children have to choose among many options for the twenty-four hours we have each day. I will use an object lesson used by time management experts about putting important things first.