1 Corinthians 2:1-12
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who were used to the voices of philosophers and statesmen and preachers of Christianity and other faiths, "I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified."
I am reminded of a building in the shadow of Target Field (the Minnesota Twins' ballpark) and the City Trash Burner on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis. It is called, "Sharing and Caring Hands." Mary Jo Copeland, mother of many children, felt called to a ministry of providing showers for homeless men who walked around all day looking for a bit of kindness. She then started washing their feet and providing shoes for their calloused feet. Today she manages a shelter for the homeless—men, women and children. It is a shining new building that serves meals to the hungry and provides coats and shoes for thousands. She takes no government money.
I have watched her reach into her pockets and give a few dollars away, prompted by her heart and street smarts. I have watched her kneel before men and women whose feet are soaking in warm, soapy water, and lovingly scrub and dry them. Mary goes to Mass every morning and in the new building there is a small chapel with a crucifix attached to the far wall.
I never hear Mary talk about her faith; she serves people of a variety of faiths or none at all. Mary chooses to know nothing on the edge of Minneapolis except Jesus Christ and him crucified. The smoke rises from the trash burner and the cheers go up when someone hits a home run, but nestled between is a powerful witness, salt and light, reflecting the redeeming presence of Jesus. Powerful stuff.
Gracious God, renew our salt and light as we seek to follow the one who was crucified that world might know your love and compassion. Amen.
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (NRSV)
1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom.
2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.
4 My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5 so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
6 Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish.
7 But we speak God's wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.
8 None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him"—
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
11 For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.