Church tonight featured a sermon on something from the start of 1 Corinthians. Check this out:
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
The sermon was about how God uses the foolishness of the message of Christianity – our King being crucified – to display his own wisdom. Even though we have come up with our own man made wisdom, God can bowl it over with something so weak and easy to mock. Our wisdom and power does not even compare to God’s foolishness and weakness.
One thing that really struck me from the sermon though was a brief mention of a comment made many centuries ago by the Duchess of Huntington (I think it was her…?) –
“I am saved by an M”.
What a bizarre comment.
It comes from this passage, following on from the passage above:
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly 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, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
God has chosen the weak people, the silly people, the low people to be part of his kingdom and family. That’s pretty encouraging for the weak and silly and low people!
But then there are people like the Duchess who aren’t any of those things. If those ms had been left out there would be no hope for her. God would not have called any wise, powerful or noble people. I feel I can identify with her. Even though I am not a Duchess, I think I come close to some of the other factors. I am university educated, from a family who is well respected among our friends. I am wealthy, especially in global standards. And I definitely have an enormous sense of self importance.
None of those things are useful though! What good is my wealth or my self indulgent education or my social networks, if God is working through weak and ridiculous people. I have to keep remembering that those things that make me cool in the eyes of other people are worth nothing to God. If those three ms were missing, I would have no hope at all. It is such a sobering thought to realise that I am only really scraping into the kingdom of God. It’s not because of any coolness or greatness on my part. It’s only because of the foolishness of the Cross.