I have to admit that I often skim and flip through the 17th chapter of Isaiah because it is part of a long and often repetitive list of judgment oracles that spans several chapters. In my reading today, however, I paused on this passage for some reflective thinking about why we do the work that we do.
This is a scripture reflection on 1 Corinthians 1:4-10. Paul is writing to the church in Corinth which is experiencing division over its leadership and Paul’s concern shows even in the thanksgiving of his letter.
With the exception of Galatians, Paul includes a thanksgiving to God at the beginning of all his epistles. In these thanksgivings, Paul commonly cites being thankful for how they live out faith, love, and do good works. The thanksgiving that Paul writes to the Corinthians is a little different from these thanksgivings, though. Paul’s thanksgiving to the Corinthians falls short of a full thanksgiving like the other churches receive.
In Matthew 6:21, we learn “21 …where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” There are many ways to reflect on this verse, but after seeing a credit card commercial asking, “What’s in Your Wallet?” I have realized that our wallets are like modern-day treasure chests and point to where our hearts are. Let’s open up our wallets and prayerfully reflect on the things we find inside. I will use my wallet as an example.
In my wallet, I have some cash (and a debit card that links to stored cash). Money represents the fruit of our labors. Give thanks for our abundance, and ask for help in our financial needs. Let us lift up our work, and our investments to God.
Elections and contentious mud-slinging campaigns between political parties are nothing new. It was an issue that John Wesley and the early Methodists had to face. Wesley’s advice to the Methodists still rings true today.
At our Annual Conference today, I was appointed to the Conference Office as the Director of Congregational Vitality. The most common question I get when I tell people this is, “What will you be doing?” That is a very long and complicated answer. I will try to boil it down for now, and will be writing more about this in the months ahead…