Hope to Carry On: March 26, 2024

Lenten Devotional Book 2024

Read: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

“For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” – 1 Corinthians 1:19

In this passage, Paul again reminds the Christians in Corinth that they live in an upside-down world. He revisits a 700 year old message from Isaiah 29:14: “The wisdom of their wise men shall perish and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” This is not the way of the world. The Corinthians, and Christians today, need continual reminders of this truth.

The ministry of Jesus was to those who were poor and had little or no power. The “wise and powerful” Jews and Romans felt threatened by his message and ultimately killed him. After he rose from the dead, his followers continued to spread the good news that God loves us all, even the poor, oppressed, and persecuted. Spreading this message often brought them into conflict with those in power, both in the government and in the church.

In John 18:36 and elsewhere throughout the Gospels, Jesus reminds us that His kingdom is not of this world. He did not come to seek power and to be an earthly king. As followers of Christ, we are called to a kingdom of love and fellowship with God – not power and wealth.

Dear God, Help us to find our place in this upside-down world. Fill us with an understanding of our call to be both recipients of and participants in healing and restoring the world. Amen.
-Cathey Frederick