My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Let Us Celebrate the Festival
Jerusalem at night, from the roof of the Church of the Nazarene in the old city.
1Cor. 5:6 Your boasting is not a good thing. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, as you really are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Paul is addressing a very serious issue in the church at Corinth. There was a member of the faith community who was engaging in immoral acts that were beyond that of the pagans. However, the man may have been wealthy or powerful and therefore, his actions were simply brushed under the rug and ignored. The people were proud to have this man as a part of their community, and this was leading to arrogance among those who were a part of the church.
Suddenly, Paul shifts to another image: that of the Paschal lamb. Just as the Israelites had prepared for the passover by ridding their households of the leavened bread, so the church was seen as the new batch of dough. The church has been made new, or unleavened by the slaying of the Passover lamb. It is the sacrifice on the cross that makes it possible for humanity to make the transition from the old life into the new. The old life is tainted with the leaven, which, if allowed to remain will transform all the remaining bread. When the church turns a blind eye to the indiscretions of those who are wealthy or powerful, there will be great spiritual loss.
We have just had a blessed time celebrating Easter. Yesterday, many of us will have gone to church and responded with gusto when the pastor called out, “He is risen!” with “He is risen, indeed!” On many levels we want to embrace this Jesus, the Messiah, the resurrected one. It is the great message of hope for our world.
It’s interesting that Paul mixes this story about the individual within the church community with the vision of the Paschal Lamb. Paul
is encouraging the church to celebrate the festival. I think that’s the same thing that we are being encouraged today; to celebrate in it’s fullness the festival of passover. The problem was that the Corinthian church wasn’t experiencing the fullness of the celebration because there was still “leaven” in their community, practiced in the life of an individual who had power, and probably financial resources.
It is a great temptation to point fingers at those on the outside of the church, but Paul says not to do that. He says the greatest problem is what is being tolerated among those who are claim to be a part of the church community, or those in leadership. What do we do about the individual who pays a great deal in tithe money, when we discover that they have been involved in an adulterous affair? Are they treated differently than we may treat others? This is the difficult question that Paul is asking the church.
We are in the midst of the festival, but to truly celebrate, we must live into the new life provided for us in Christ. Each person who claims to be a follower of Christ should live in the purity of the unleavened batch of dough. Paul was reprimanding the church folks for boasting about the individual being a part of their community. He was saying that their pride was part of the problem.
The entire church community should humbly stand before God, submitting to the reality of the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb. Then, we move into new life as we celebrate the estival, “with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Lord, thank you for the possibility of the Festival. May we, as your children, be vigilant to live our lives in sincerity and your truth. Amen.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…