Archive for March 3rd, 2019

1 Corinthians 4: Servants, Stewards, Ministers of Christ

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Ruins of Corinth

Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  In this way Paul describes our work for us; he defines our lives; he makes it clear that no other calling is more important.

It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you or any human tribunal.  In this way Paul states his creed; he clarifies his position; he spells out his limits and existence.

What do you possess that you have not received?  With these words Paul points out that all that we have and all that we are come from God; he helps us to see that we can take credit only for following God and being gracious recipients of God’s gifts.

We go hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clad and roughly treated, we wander about homeless and we toil, working with our own hands.  With these words Paul describes his circumstances . . . and he invites us to join him in his holy work.

When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently.  We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all, to this very moment.  With these words Paul tells us that being Christ’s servants, stewards and ministers will not be easy . . . that kingdom building will be a dangerous and difficult vocation.

Which do you prefer?  Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a gentle spirit?  With these questions Paul brings us to the brink of ourselves; Paul calls us to a reality we may not like.  Do we wish to be forced . . . they why do we attempt to force others even though we dislike being forced ourselves?  Do we wish to be loved . . . then why do we not love others even when we wish to be loved?

And so we pray . . .

Good and loving God, you have forgiven all, you have sacrificed all, you have remembered all, and you have loved all.  Make of us the servants you wish us to be.  Remain in us that we might be the stewards you wish us to be.  Guide us as we strive to be your ministers; build with us the foundations and pillars of your kingdom.  For we are nothing without you.  We are all because of you. 

Abide with us as we struggle to be good servants of Christ.  Live in us as we labor to be good stewards of the mysteries of God.  Dwell in us as we learn to be good kingdom builders who minister in the Spirit of the Lord.  Amen. 

A re-post from December 8, 2011.

Image from: http://www.harrys-greece.com/h-taxi-greece/taxi-tours-corinth.htm 

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