HOLY WEEK | 4.3.12
I Corinthians 1:18-31
As college students, we can sometimes feel as though we are pulled in two opposite directions. On the one hand, we are expected to sit under the teaching of our university, cocooned in words of wisdom and challenge, molding ourselves for our future vocations. On the other hand, we are uniquely poised to be reaching out toward the other, improving society and bringing our faith to the world. We are being formed and reformed, and yet simultaneously trying to form and reform the world outside our door.
The Scripture readings for today speak to our condition, because they affirm this experience of two-part living. But to see this, we must back up and ask ourselves what these verses are saying in their widely different contexts.
In Isaiah 49, the prophet tells his spiritual life story. He was called from the womb, named and chosen for the purpose of pointing the world to God. Isaiah’s story shows us first of all that God has a message of reconciliation for the world, and secondly that He wants to use us, his people, to tell them about it.
Likewise, in today’s 1 Corinthians passage, the writer tells us that it pleases God to save the world through what we preach, the Good News of Christ. And in John 12, it is Jesus’ disciples who intercede for the Greeks (people of a nation hostile to Christ) who wish to see Jesus. In the season of Lent, we remember Jesus’ time of preparation before his ministry. Just as those forty days in the wilderness prepared him, we take these forty days to prepare ourselves for his death and resurrection. We lie in the hand of God, a seed inside its shell, a bird in its egg, as God grows us and sprouts us into the kind of people that see his death and resurrection as an invitation to change the world. Like our season of life demands daily, Lent is a time to receive preparation. But at the same time, Jesus invites us to take part in his story of redeeming the world through his love.
Like the prophet Isaiah, we affect others because we have been affected by God. We are incubated, sanctified by His presence, polished arrows hidden in the quiver of the Holy. We receive and we give; we learn and we teach. Our opposite directions are one journey, the journey of Lent, the journey of the spiritual life.
Junior, Christian Ethics and Biblical Languages Double Major
You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at: http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf