1 Corinthians 3-4, pt.1

This Tuesday we are reading through 1 Corinthians 3-4. In this passage, Paul completes his teaching regarding the leadership division within the congregation.  Paul teaches that the root cause of the divisions does not lie with the apostles or differences within their teachings but within the rivalry and power struggles within the congregation itself. Each side believes that only they have been completely filled and have the truth and therefore, they separate themselves from the others. Paul calls them back to the cross and to be humble servants in Christ for at the humility of the cross there are no divisions, only unity.  For us, we experience that same unity at the Communion table where the cross is physically manifested. HERE is a video of Bishop Curry speaking of this unity that we experience with the Eucharistic celebration.

As we looked at last week, one of the ways of reading Scripture is within its historical context. However, as Manny Reid+ used to say, we do not worship the words of a dead prophet but the living God. Therefore, another way of reading the Bible is to allow the Spirit to speak to us today through our Scripture readings thereby giving life to those readings.  The early monastic communities developed a four-part method of spiritually reading the scriptures called Lectio Divina. The idea is to 1) Read a passage of scripture slowly and actively listening for the still small voice of God, and allow God to draw your focus to a particular passage, phrase, or word; 2) Meditate on that word or phrase, not to gain information, but to allow God’s word to become His word for us presently; 3) Pray back to God by allowing ourselves to be touched and changed by the word of God; and 4) Contemplate in the silence of being in the presence of God.

Another way the Lectio Divina has been understood is an inward eating and digesting of Scripture (like Ezekiel and John experienced) similar to that of cattle eating grass so that we are called to 1) Consume, 2) Chew, 3) Ruminate, and 4) Inwardly Digest the Word of God.  And just as a cow doesn’t eat the grass all at once, so to we should also mediate and pray over the particular scripture over time. 

The final aspect of Lectio Divina is that the monks would practice it within their community so that a particular reading could be shared and tested within that Christian community.  So as you read through 1 Corinthians this week, allow the Spirit to draw you in, and then share that with us this week.

Dinner is served at 6. The menu this week is Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches. Please bring a friend this week. And take the time this week to read, ruminate, and digest the Scriptures.   

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for
our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn,
and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever
hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have
given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Proper 28, 1979 BCP 236

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