Today's Lectionary Text
1 Corinthians 14:13-25
For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays,but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit,but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. In the Law it is written:
“With other tongues
Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”
Verse 19 says, “nevertheless in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.” As I reflect on this scripture today and the days that have led up to today, I am preparing for a very important part of my ministry journey. Tomorrow I meet with the Board of Ordained Ministry to interview for ordination. This has been a long journey for my wife, eight years to be exact. I give thanks for all those that have mentored, encouraged and guided us on this journey. The focus of the scripture today from Corinthians has reminded me when we speak plainly, and others are able to understand our faith it is truly special. Too often we may get wrapped up in the complexities of our faith, the meaning of theology and we forget that it truly boils down to relationships.
When we are willing to meet one another on a level that we can all understand we can build a deep meaningful relationship. Through this relationship we can grow the kingdom of God, we can pray for one another, and we can pray for the world. Prayer is a powerful tool that we often rely on in our most stressful times, but it is also important to have our own daily prayer life. Let us continue to take Paul’s words to heart and be willing to pray so that we understand one another.
As I review for my interview, spend time with my wife, and have dinner with another colleague that will be interviewing tomorrow morning for ordination. I ask that you keep the members of the board, the candidates interviewing, and the churches we all represent in your prayers today, this week, and always. Grace and Peace.
-Rev. Jeff Goetzinger
Little River/Mitchell Chapel
Prayer for Reflection
Holy God let our prayers be pleasing to your ears and keep us from praying in ways that we can be a stumbling block to others.
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