1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23
Peace be with you!
I have a lot of people who have been influential in my life. These people have provided me with the groundwork to be who I am today. I am one of very few who can say they keep in touch with teachers from elementary school. Because I have cerebral palsy, I was in a special classroom designed to meet my physical needs as well as provide me with an education. Linda Furlong was my lead teacher for six years. She made sure that my teachers made adaptations in the classroom so I could participate. Joyce Haas was my aide for seven years. She helped me in the classroom. Kris was the cook in the kitchen and her daughter, Julie, volunteered in my classroom as an aide. These women became my second family and are partly responsible for making me the woman I am today.
Of course, my parents played a big part in my development process as well. My mom taught me to be independent, never afraid to speak my mind. She also stood up for me when people wanted to exclude me from activities when I was a child. My dad taught me to think for myself and to be willing to ask questions.
In the reading today, Paul is explaining to the Corinthians that he has only laid the foundation for their Christian faith. Paul gave them the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. It is up to the Corinthians to figure out what God is calling them to do now that Paul has fed them with the good news.
God’s temple is in each of the Corinthians. It is not a physical building. The temple is a sense of belonging to God and to each other. God dwells in each of us. God’s temple can only be destroyed if we turn our backs on him. Paul says, “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person” (3:17a, NRSV). We destroy God’s temple when we walk away. We become dead to God because we are denying his gift of a relationship with him. When we are in a relationship with God, we become his holy temple. We hold his good news and share it with anyone that will listen.
It is not good enough for us to know the good news. We need to constantly struggle with the good news to understand what God is calling us to do in the world. We are his temple, but we need to share and welcome others into our fellowship. It might mean that we need to change how we do things. God is always calling us to go out into the world to lay the foundation in others. This requires us to continually be discerning what God is calling us to do and where he is sending us. We will never fully understand God’s wisdom. This is okay because when we think we know it all, we become fools. No one can fully understand what God is up to.
“You belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God” (3:23, NRSV). You are connected to God through Christ. There is no way to destroy that connection with God unless you walk away from him. We are holy. We are the holy temple of God when we honor him through our deeds and words. His temple is in our hearts.
Now that I am older, I find myself distilling the values which my mentors and parents taught me into young women of the next generation. I am blessed to be a mentor to two fine young high school girls, Bekah and Samantha. I find myself passing down kindness and tough love, lending an ear and a hug when needed, and sharing advice that my mentors gave me. I am giving Bekah and Samantha the foundation to be able to live wisely in the world.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for those individuals who have laid the foundation of Christian living in our hearts. Help us to build upon that foundation and to discern where you are calling and sending us. Make us your holy temples. Guide us in your ways. Thank you for your wisdom in the world. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the behavior covenant by commenting on it.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
- Who are your mentors? How have they provided you with a foundation?
- Have you ever thought of yourself as a mentor to others? What are some bits of wisdom you could pass on to the next generation?
- What are you currently discerning?