1 Corinthians 1:10-13a
10 My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don’t take sides. Always try to agree in what you think. 11 Several people from Chloe’s family have already reported to me that you keep arguing with each other. 12 They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter or Christ.
13 Has Christ been divided up?
The church at Corinth was a troubled church. Influenced by their culture, the old ways of doing things and the new ways of living were in conflict with one another. Into this scene of a church filled with “fightings without and fears within…” comes Paul.
Several times Paul identifies the squabbles as an argument about (among other things) who to follow – the one who planted or the one who watered. Will it be Paul or Apollos? For Paul this was the goofiest of all reasons to fight with one another. The focus should be on the God who sent both to do God’s work among the people in Corinth. In other words, Paul and Apollos were on the same team, as far as Paul was concerned.
My husband is an athlete. He and two friends have been training buddies for many years. Now Randy’s two sons have joined the group. When they run or bike or swim together they encourage one another when the race gets tough. They challenge each other to improve, to do their best. And they know they are there for one another when a helping hand is needed.
I look around our world today and I think we could learn a lesson from Christians who are on the same team, like Randy and the guys. Look at what the Bible says:
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NRSV)
11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
Hebrews 10:24 (CEV)
24 We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things.
Somehow our society seems to forget we are in this together. We find it easy to tear one another apart, to gossip and belittle. That’s why the witness of your faith is so very needed. That is why the ministries of your church makes a difference. We are one body together. One Team, called to live our faith in ways that are evident. And I’ll give you clue. Being a team isn’t just about words. It really is about everyone doing their part. It is about everyone living as fully devoted disciples.
What does it mean for you to live your faith out loud?
Rev. N. Susan Brims
East District Superintendent