Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/23/2023: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Today please be in prayer for

Louisburg UMC
Five Rivers District
Lyndon UMC
Vassar UMC
Five Rivers District
Melvern UMC
Quenemo UMC
Five Rivers District
Michigan Valley UMC
Five Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you but that you be knit together in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been made clear to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else. For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel—and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Today's Devotional

Think over these questions:
  • Paul is honest about his purpose for writing the letter (v. 10). The ways in which the people are divided will become more apparent as the letter goes on. What might it look like to experience a church where there are “no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose”? What might that feel like? What might that smell like?
  • Why do you think it is human nature to be drawn into certain allegiances, much as the Corinthians did? (Today, this can be seen in allegiances such as Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, southerners, northerners, Americans, etc.) [Labels and markers give us a group to belong to. It becomes easy to know who we are with and therefore with whom we are not.]
  • Does it seem realistic that we are of the “same mind and the same purpose” (verse 10)? With so many denominations, what does this look like today?
  • What does Paul put forward as a solution to the divisions (verses 17-18)? [The cross is a symbol of disgrace and humility. Nothing is lower, more shameful, more dishonorable than being crucified.] How is the cross unifying? [At the cross, we are all equal. We are all identified with the Messiah who was willing take on shame and dishonor. More binding than nationalism or gender or race or class or any other marker is that we as the body of Christ are being remade into the image of the Christ who willingly went to the cross for the redemption of the world.]
  • If you were to draw the body of Christ, what and who might be included in this drawing? Who is present? Who is excluded? What voices and languages are present?
  • How might your church begin to live into that vision?

 

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