Second Reading 1 Corinthians 1:18–31
For 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 am a very capable person. I have a masters degree, a job, a family, but when I step on one of those little plastic blocks in the middle of the night, I am reduced to a creature stumbling about voicing incomprehensible shrieks and groans. I know the power of these deceptively innocent toys; I know how in the right hands it can be used to build entire worlds and universes. In the right hands this block is good. The same is true for the Gospel. It isn’t grand; it isn’t powerful by our human 4G, megaton, multi trillion dollar, scales. It is the story of all of God’s love and intention formed into one life. A life which we, the world, the powers thought so very little of. We’d like to think we’re better now—that we learned our lesson. Did we? Did we really? Take a good look at the news, take a good look at TV shows and commentators, of media. Take a good look at what we value. Take a look at our congregations. Take a good look at our lives and our hearts. Does what you see look like Micah 6.8 and Matthew 5?