Lenten Devotional 3/10/29

March 10, 2019              Jeremiah 9:23-24                    Rev. Dr. Alan Meyers

                                        1 Corinthians 1:18-31

“Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). What an amazing, confounding phrase! It’s amazing and confounding because Paul is referring here to “Christ crucified,” whom he admits is “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (verse 23). It’s not the awesome Lord who will return to judge the world at the end, nor the mighty Word through whom the universe was created at the beginning, whom Paul is thinking of, but the weak and bleeding One, dying on the cross. Here, in Jesus’ suffering and death, we are supposed to see God’s power and God’s wisdom.

            We do not understand what true power and real wisdom are, unless we understand that they are the power and the wisdom of love. The self-giving love of the Son of God, offering himself on the cross to save us, is the power and wisdom by which the universe was made and is upheld and is finally redeemed. All other “power” and “wisdom” will be found in the end to be weakness and foolishness. Everything that is not love will pass away (1 Corinthians 13:8).

            And so, “Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24). We should ask ourselves, especially during Lent, if we are using whatever wisdom (skills, knowledge) or power or wealth we have been given in the service of love and justice and righteousness, since we know that God is to be found in these things.

Prayer: Lord, please show me how to use all that I have and all that I am in the service of love. Through Jesus. Amen.