Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 21-22, 1 Corinthians 3, Ezekiel 1, Psalm 37
Hello friends! Another Monday is upon us. I’m loving this slow transition into a new school year, a new season and the feeling of gentle changes in our lives. Our little guy Oliver needed some quiet time over the weekend to let his body adjust to this new normal of Kindergarten with Crohn’s. As he sleeps on this sunny afternoon I’m reading and absorbing Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Chapter 3 begins with Paul addressing the Corinthians as “infants in Christ.” He continues with a metaphor about feeding the new Christians with only milk as they are not yet mature enough for solid food. I was drawn into this chapter today because it begins at the beginning. Before things get really complicated for Christ’s followers. Paul is basically giving the Corinthians a syllabus and a calendar of assignments. First on the list is reminding the Corinthians that they are more or less “still of the flesh.” Great news, so am I! Paul says this:
“I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, I follow Paul and another I follow Apollos are you not being merely human?”(1 Corinthians 3:2-4)
I always benefit from some personal reflection about which God I’m putting first in my life. The next part of this chapter helps us to frame our roots in Christianity. Paul reminds us that he and other disciples are vessels through whom we become Christ followers. He says:
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-12)
We are God’s field, we are his building! We are surrounded by skilled master builders that show us the way in Christ. Each one of us has a foundation story and each one of us is now responsible for the building onto that foundation. I just had to share these verses today because I found a piece of my foundation today. While cleaning a closet I found a note I had saved for over four years. The small piece of notebook paper was folded over and over itself. When I unfurled it, alone in my closet which I now share with my two daughters, I recognized the handwriting. I’ve read this letter countless times but not in the last few years. It was written to me by Crystal Smith a woman I admire so much for her steadfast faith in Jesus. In the letter she encourages me not to fear the future, not to get wrapped up in the what if’s. She reminds me that God has a very specific plan for me and my family. She tells me that I have value and purpose. That although I’ll be tested as a mother, I will not be alone. At the time, our son Oliver had just been diagnosed with his heart condition and I lived in fear that we would never be blessed with more children. I know now that Crystal was one of a few very important foundation builders. I don’t know her well, but I know that God spoke through her to get to me and ultimately save me. I hope you’ll reach out this week to one of your foundation layers. More importantly, I hope you’ll sit down and write a letter to someone who needs a rock to begin their foundation.