1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (NRSV)
Verse 18For 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. Verse 19For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart." Verse 20Where 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? Verse 21For 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. Verse 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, Verse 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, Verse 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Verse 25For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength. Verse 26Consider 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. Verse 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; Verse 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, Verse 29so that no one might boast in the presence of God. Verse 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, Verse 31in order that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
Have you ever received something — a gift, a message, guidance from a mentor — that was so stunning in its simplicity and effectiveness that, after you thought about it for a while, you said to yourself, "That's all there is to it? Surely there's more; I must be missing something."
The apostle Paul is writing a follow-up letter to the Corinthians after an earlier visit when he proclaimed the gospel to them — that God had decided to save all through the wisdom of Christ's cross. It seems they have been thinking there must be something more — maybe they need to be something more — smarter or wiser — to "get it."
But Paul's follow-up message reassures us that there is nothing else to "get." God is the source of our life in Christ Jesus. We needn't be or do any more — or less — than to receive this gift to live as God's people.
God of love, every day you give us what we need, and you walk with us through the world. Wow! Thank you. Amen.