With today’s readings we enter in to the book of 1 Corinthians. Last Saturday, I meant reference to the idea that maybe churches could find a way to practice corporate disciplines in Lent. If there ever was a church within the New Testament that fit the bill for needing to practice corporate disciplines, the church in Corinth may have been the best test case.
As our reading today indicates it was a church that was beset by division and strife. One of the causes of this was that factions had developed around baptism and who had performed it for the people in the church. As the book continues on we will find that this might have been the lightest concern that the church faced. This is a church that clearly needed to take time for reflection and repentance.
The section for today finishes with Paul’s words on the power of the cross despite it’s apparent foolishness.
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. For it is written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’
As we continue on in the early days of Lent it is a helpful reminder that we are moving to the cross with all the “foolishness” that such a movement implies. It should also serve to remind us that whatever disciplines we engage in, they should help us focus our attention on this road and to the cross at the end of it.