July 6, 2020
1 Corinthians 10:25-11:1 (NIV)
Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”
If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many,so that they may be saved.
To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people (i.e., us):
Jesus was like Paul. It sounds strange to say, but that would be the goal for all of our lives; for someone to say to someone else of us, “Jesus was like Tim or Julie or Bob or Jane.” I picked up this notion from the late great British theologian and apologist, G. K. Chesterton. In his book on St. Francis of Assisi (which I heartily recommend), he offered this rationale.
Now in truth while it has always seemed natural to explain St. Francis in the light of Christ, it has not occurred to many people to explain Christ in the light of St. Francis. Perhaps the word ” light ” is not here the proper metaphor; but the same truth is admitted in the accepted metaphor of the mirror. St. Francis is the mirror of Christ rather as the moon is the mirror of the sun. The moon is much smaller than the sun, but it is also much nearer to us; and being less vivid it is more visible. Exactly in the same sense St. Francis is nearer to us, and being a mere man like ourselves is in that sense more imaginable. (from chapter 8)
Weeks back we wrestled with those excruciatingly difficult two words we are so reticent to say, “Imitate me.”
Can I cut to the chase today? The truth is people are following your example. People are imitating you, whether you like it or not. Where is your life leading them? Is your life leading others to discover the goodness of God our Father, the grace of Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, the joy of the kingdom of God in the midst of the most difficult trial? There’s only one way to answer yes to this and that is if you are actively discovering and experiencing these realities in an ongoing everyday way.
One more quick one. Whose example are you following who is following the example of Christ? Who are you imitating? Without someone to imitate, with skin on, in our day in and day out lives, faith easily morphs into an ethereal idealism that at best stays in our heads and at worst remains on the pages of our Bibles.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. It seems like a stretch, and maybe just a dream, but it would be something for someone to say Jesus was like me. Come, Holy Spirit, and make it so, for only you can. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
- Let’s get beyond rhetorical questions and really ask: Whose examples are you following who are following the example of Christ?
- Who do you think is following your example (for better or for worse)?
- What are some concrete ways your life can follow the example of Christ? What is his example?
For the Awakening,