Meditation Based on I Corinthians 1:1-9

1/18/2017

Mediation delivered during Conference Center Worship last Wednesday, January 11, based on I Corinthians 1:1-9.

I have been waking up every morning to the sound of the congressional hearings being held to determine whether President-Elect Trump’s nominees for critical positions in our government will be confirmed.  I am attuned particularly to the voices of protest that arise out of the audience.  This morning it was a woman begging the congressional leaders to think through their decisions to care for the suffering.

Last night I also listened to President Obama give his last speech as our president.  I agree with him.  While we have come a long way, we still face economic injustice, racism, and now, the deterioration of our democracy.  I would be so bold as to add that we face the challenge of determining whether we will stand for the values of care for the weakest among us, and fair and just systems that make education, health care, housing, a decent job and good wages not only a possibility but a basic right for all. 

We live days of great challenge but also of great opportunity. 

I pray and hope that as we do our work here in this conference center we would every single day remember that what we do here and from here can contribute to the making of the world of God’s own hope – a world where every single child of God is known and treated as being of sacred worth because we are all created in the image and likeness of God.  A world where we go the second and third mile to care for the most vulnerable among us not because it gains us brownie points but because it is the right thing to do.  A world where we treat Mother Earth, the heavens and all of God’s wondrous Creation with awe and respect because they belong to God and we would surely die without them.  A world where our commitment to peace overrides any draw to war.  These are but some of the images from scripture that help us understand God’s own hope for God’s world.

We support God’s own hope for the world by supporting the congregations of our conference in their ministries, through the conference work we do with the leaders of this conference who come through our doors every single day to figure out how they will help to lead us to be servants of God in the world, and by sustaining and encouraging each other in our work.  We also do it by leaving this place at the end of the day ready to give witness in our communities of God’s love and presence, to share a word of hope along the way with those who need it, and ready to be a strong advocate for God’s justice in the world.  

In our epistle reading for today the Apostle Paul speaks to the community in Corinth.  As a center of economic power and cultural distinction, the people in Corinth could make a difference in the human struggles of their day and age.  Paul recognized, however, that they needed to be reminded of their giftedness and the reason they were gifted. 

Paul tells them that they have been “cleaned up and set apart for a God-filled life.”  God had given them so many gifts and benefits.  Paul is in fact amazed by all that they have received and all that God has done through them.  In Eugene Peterson’s translation of our passage, Paul says to the Corinthians, “Just think – you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all!  All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for Jesus…..and not only that, God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track……..God will never give up on you.  Don’t ever forget that.”

Paul’s word to the Corinthians is the word for us today.  Close your eyes and hear it anew knowing that it is for you and for me…………..Amen and Amen!  

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño