July 02, 2006

At the Risk of Sounding Foolish

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21


When my family and I first went to the Philippines and began studying the local language, a veteran missionary told us, "When speaking a new language, you might feel that people are laughing at you. Well, they probably are! Just be thankful you've brought some humor into their life." Missionaries make lots of funny mistakes trying to communicate in a new language. They have to learn to laugh at themselves for sounding a bit foolish.

Our reading for today isn't about language bloopers but the seeming foolishness of the message itself. For thousands of years the world tried to find God through various philosophies and religions, but "the world through its wisdom did not [come to] know him." No one can know God unless he reveals himself. And God does that through the good news of Jesus.

"We preach Christ crucified," said the apostle Paul to the Corinthians. And with scorn and laughter the experts of that day said, "God on a cross? How powerless!"

People scorn and laugh at this message today too. But we mustn't think our neighbors can come to know God simply by what they see in us. We must share the message of Jesus and the cross, because for those whom God is calling it speaks of the power and wisdom of God. Will you take the risk of sounding foolish today?

Lord Jesus, many people today don't want to hear that you are the only way to God. Give us extra courage to speak your name to our neighbors. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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