1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (NRSV)
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Chapter 2When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. Verse 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Verse 3And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. Verse 4My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, Verse 5so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
Verse 6Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. Verse 7But we speak God's wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. Verse 8None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Verse 9But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him"- Verse 10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. Verse 11For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God. Verse 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
The church speaks a language that the world does not know. Did you know that? When you’ve been a church member all your life, you’ve grown up using church speak. But to the unchurched this speech is often like a foreign language. Even the older traditional version of the Lord’s Prayer uses words that no longer mean what they once did. The same is true in our churches. Words like sin, incarnation, advent, and countless others are foreign to the unchurched. Our hymns often use words that are completely unfamiliar. That being true, we must work to find ways to communicate the promises of the gospel to our contemporary world. The issue at stake isn’t a lack of intelligence but a lack of experience with the language the church and Bible often uses. God communicates through the power of the Holy Spirit using infinite ways of speaking and explaining God’s abundant love for us.
Gracious and loving God, by the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to love our neighbor by using language that opens doors instead of closing them in the face of those who yearn to be a part of God’s family. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.