I Corinthians 12:12-31
This is a hard passage to understand in light of American christianity (small “c”). How can there be so many “bodies” in every small town, and yet we drive across town to get to the “right” one? I know we place less emphasis on unity than is right, but I don’t know how to fix it. Do we each simply go to the geographically closest house of (reasonably) Christian worship and join that congregation? How Christian (how “correct” theologically) does a body of believers need to be before we submit humbly to join them, whether they make us happy or not? In what ways is American or western individualism infecting my sense of which “body” I’m meant to be a part of?
I also read the end of the passage (verse 29-30) as an explicit refutation of the idea that everyone should be preaching the Gospel the way a pastor or teach would be. Some parts of the body are not mouths, or hands, or feet. Some parts of the body are eyes. Some are intestines.
I Corinthians 13
If I share my testimony five times a week, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. If I lead a (house) church, and mentor many disciples, and if I read the scripture and pray for an hour every morning, but have not love, I am nothing. If I devote my entire life to my family, working tirelessly for their provision and even teaching them to follow Christ in all human ways, but have not love, I gain nothing.
[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
I Corinthians 13:6
I’ve never really paid enough attention to this verse. I always thought “the truth” was in opposition to wrongdoing, but now I think the truth referenced might be the confession of wrongdoing. Love is patient (verse 4) and endures all things (verse 7); perhaps it rejoices simply that in confession a relationship can proceed forward in truth? Love does rejoice at being wronged (or in wronging others), but it rejoices when that sin is confessed, as only then can the relationship begin to heal.
To the extent that my love for my wife and children is perfect and true, it will never pass away (verse 8). That is comforting, in light of my mortal frailty. I always wonder what it will be like to “neither marry, nor be given in marriage” (Matthew 22:30); what will my relationship to her be then? But the love we have for one another — the part of it that is real, true love; the best part of it — will never end.
II Chronicles 34
The stories of the kings make me fear for what I am teaching my sons. It never seems to be the son of a good king whose sons follow God. The kings who follow God find him on their own, like Josiah. How God blessed him! I pray that the example I walk before my own sons will inspire them to follow Christ, and not seek their own wills. Which means I must not seek mine.
The proper response to scripture is repentance. Sackcloth. And seeking the will of the LORD. Making again a covenant with God to follow Him and Him alone.
II Chronicles 35
Always the singers are in their place when the sacrifices are offered and the people begin once again to worship the LORD.
Also, don’t go out to battle against the LORD’s forces — whatever forces they are — on the field of Megiddo.
II Chronicles 36
Yep. It’s impossible for the son of a good king in Israel or Judah to continue following the LORD. How will I save my sons? Trick question. I can’t; I can only teach them all that God has shown me, and pray that Christ will save them.