Oct 9, 2017
ThIs it is. The final part of Paul’s letter. And he ends it with a bang, not a whimper. He has not run out of steam or things to say, but like all good things, they must come to an end. So, he wraps it all up with one last admonition to be wary, watchful, faithful, courageous and strong. Oh, and to love. That one was especially important to Paul. This final charge, found 1 Corinthians 16: 10-24 is simple, yet powerful. In it, Paul provides the Corinthians, and us, with a strong message to which anyone would be wise to listen. The overall theme of Paul’s letter has been one of community in the face of the constant temptations to live in disunity and isolation. The body of Christ is meant to be an organism, not an organization. The members of the body are gifted by the Spirit of God in order that they might encourage and serve one another. There is no place for competition or conflict. Pride, arrogance and self-centeredness are to be avoided at all costs, recognizing them as cancers that can destroy the body from within. The ongoing well-being of the body of Christ requires an attitude of unity, cooperation, selfless service and sacrificial love. The time is short and the need great. So, we are to stay focused and faithful.