Message of the Cross Pt. 2
The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” ~ I Corinthians 1:18-31
There are two competing theologies about God.
The first is what is often referred to as the Theology of Glory. This theology looks at Christianity as a way to move past difficult or tragic things in life. It minimizes them rather than accepts them. In this theology, the cross is a means to an end: a vexing thing that is simply a way to bring about happiness someday though salvation in a beautiful future existence in heaven.
It's a theology that says live your best life now. If you accept Jesus as your personal savior, everything will be fine. It's a theology that values the strong, the healthy, the smart.
Martin Luther said that a theologian of glory does not know God hidden in suffering.
On the other hand, a theology of the cross views the cross as God's ultimate and conclusive involvement in this life. A theology of the cross accepts that life is difficult and does not try to mask it or ignore it or hide from it. A theology of the cross calls a thing a thing, calls pain pain , suffering suffering, and recognizes and finds God in it. Luther even said that God was not only hidden in suffering, but but working with and through it. When everything seems to be falling apart, and you have lost hope and don't know where else to turn, that is when you run to God for mercy.
It's a theology that values the anxious, the grieving, the weak and the despised.
Which theology do you notice most in the Christian church?
How hard is the idea that God is somehow there in the midst of the brokenness in our lives? That we find God not in the highs, but in the lows?
That it is those of us who are closest to despair that are able to find God in the clearest possible way?
Help me to find you Lord, in the brokenness of my life. Amen