Today's Lectionary Text
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.
I’m a big believer in learning from history. I understand that not every situation is equal to the same sets of circumstances. But I think it’s generally a good idea to avoid serious mistakes from the past.
After all, there is a reason we seek out the “black box” when an airplane crashes, such as the recent Ethiopian Airlines tragedy. We want to avoid harm in the future. We can take it a step further by studying such terrible institutions as slavery of African natives and their descendants, the way white settlers stole land from Native Americans and the internment of Americans who happened to be of Japanese descent during World War II.
And those are just a few examples.
In this text from his first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul is providing a brief history lesson in hopes of helping this group of followers avoid repeating mistakes of the past.
“These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come,” Paul writes.
This is a relatively young church, most likely a group predominantly comprised of Gentiles trying to figure out this new faith to which they’ve been drawn. They likely don’t have the depth of knowledge of Jewish history, so Paul tries to explain it to them by pointing out that they are not unique in facing these challenges.
It’s a good reminder for us today. Followers of Christ have faced many trials before. We are facing many now. People in the future will face their share as well.
But as Paul states, “God is faithful” and will help us endure. We simply must be open to allowing God to do this important work in us.
— Todd Seifert, director of communications
Prayer for Reflection
Gracious God, we know we have made mistakes over the years — both as a people and as individuals. Help us to be mindful that you will help us endure. Help us to be open to allowing you to lead us away from mistakes. Amen.
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