The Power of Imitation for Good or for Ill (Sat. Jan. 15)

The word of the day is “imitate.”  Most often if we want to know something we look it up.  We used to consult a book or encyclopedia.  But nowadays we will probably ask “Siri,” search on Google or YouTube, or consult our friends on face book.  But how do we find out how to live the Christian life?  Of course, we can read our Bibles, hear sermons, or study both ancient and modern sources.  But how do we apply their teachings, guidelines, commands, counsels, and directions?  Today’s reading suggests that the best thing to do is to find an example that will show us how to put the words of instruction into practice. Thus in today’s reading, the apostle begins…

Rejoice When Suffering for Christ’s Sake (Sun. August 29)

The word of the day is “sake.”  Which of these would we choose: worldly wisdom, strength, honor, and riches or their opposite: foolishness, weakness, dishonor, and poverty?  Today in our reading of 1 Corinthians 4:9-16, Paul speaks about the hardships that he and the other apostles are enduring for the sake of Christ.  He contrasts these adversities with the boasting of the Corinthians that they are wise, rich, and honored.  The apostle’s defense of his ministry puts a question before us.  We can either be wise or fools; strong or weak; distinguished or dishonored, rich or “hungry and thirsty, poorly clothed, beaten, and homeless” (vs. 11). Blessed Are the Reviled and Persecuted for Christ’s Sake We would probably choose the…

Two Kinds of Patterns: God’s Mercy and the Godly Life (Feb. 7, Sun.)

The word of the day is “pattern.”  St. Paul presented himself as a positive example of life in Christ.   Yet he also admitted that he was a great sinner for whom the promise of eternal life depended on the grace of God.  In our reading of 1 Timothy 3:15-17, Paul writes, ”I  received mercy so that in me as the foremost {sinner] Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example…” (vs. 16 OAB). In 1 Corinthians, Paul directed that the  Corinthians consider him their father “through the Gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15).  As their father in faith, he instructed his flock to “imitate him” (vs.1 Cor. 16), following his example in all that he said and did. Paul…