Nov. 17, 2020, 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
The Apostle Paul in First Corinthians 1:4-9 expresses thankfulness, faith in Christ, and hope for the future beyond the grave. Read these words several times, they have incredible power:
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind – just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you – so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (NRSV)
The words are so appropriate for this time in our history. We have been given grace in Christ; we have been enriched in speech and knowledge; in us the testimony of Christ has been strengthened; we are not lacking in any spiritual gift; God is making us blameless for the day of the Lord, God is faithful.
Our daughter Deanna was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer 12 years ago. By the grace of God and the miracle of modern medicine, she entered into remission eight years ago. But this past month the cancer reappeared, so she is undergoing radiation treatments again. We once again are trusting in the promises of God who is the great physician, and we are sensing being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, including so many people at Hope.
Almost as if God knew we needed to spend some time with our daughter in spite of the pandemic, the temperature recently was 70 degrees. This allowed us to sit outside with our daughter for a couple of hours, to pray together, to share faith, hope and love. The only thing we could not do was to give her a hug, but we gave her the best “air hug.”
And so we trust in the words from Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We believe God will answer our prayers once again.
Questions for reflection:
- Which words in the Scripture passage from 1 Corinthians speak most directly to your situation?
- Who are you praying for right now that is struggling with some kind of an illness?
- Where do you see the power of God at work at Lutheran Church of Hope right now?