1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Orval Kerchner was my sixth grade Sunday School teacher. He was a gentle, patient man. His own children were long since grown, but every year, he took great delight in gathering a new group of squirrely pre-teens and talking with them about the Bible. And at the end of the year, he'd send those students on to confirmation, knowing he'd done his part to water their seeds of faith.
Paul had done his part at the church in Corinth. He'd been a witness to Jesus, taught them to pray, made sure they got baptized, shared God's meal. And then, he'd moved on, trusting that God would continue to work among the community to build up the church.
So often in life, we have to hand our work off to someone else. Raising children, pastoring a church, researching in a lab, leading a company ... Eventually another teacher, another pastor, another scientist, another executive will take over. Is that difficult? It can be. But perhaps it's made easier if we trust that God will give the growth.
Thank you, God, for bringing growth to our churches, and bless those who plant seeds of faith for you. Amen.
1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (NRSV)
1 And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.
2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready,
3 for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations?
4 For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely human?
5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each.
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
8 The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each.
9 For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building.