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Chaplain's Chat 22nd February 2017

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

As I was reflecting on what to include in this newsletter, it occurred to me that the beginning of Lent is only a few weeks away. As I get into the mindset of Lent and Easter, I become acutely aware of the discomfort of the Easter message, particularly in the modern secular world. The more that I reflect upon this, the more that I realise that this is as it should be. The message of the Gospel in general, and of Easter in particular, is not and should not be a comfortable one. The Gospel is counter-cultural in many ways. It calls us all to look at the world, not through the lens of whatever the current cultural agenda is, but through the eyes of the Creator turned Redeemer.
 
This is an extract from 1 Corinthians 1:

(18)“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

(20) Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (21) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. (22) Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, (23) but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, (24) but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (25) For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

This reading questions our standards of wisdom. It invites us to step outside of human conventions and understanding. It invites us to consider the possibility that the story of God stepping out of heaven and into our realm, showing us how to live, and then dying and rising to new life so that humankind may share eternity with him, is not a fanciful and foolish story, but the wisdom of God in action! Can the human mind truly grasp the enormity of this wisdom of God? I suggest that we cannot really – that is why we call our belief ‘faith.’  The book of Hebrews describes faith as:

“ ….. confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

We do indeed need to take a leap of faith this Lent, away from human wisdom and into the wisdom of God! May God bless you as you endeavour to do so.

God bless.
Reverend Dave