January 28, 2016

God of the Lowly

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things . . . so that no one may boast. . . .

—  1 Corinthians 1:28-29

Though I went to a public elementary school, in those days the principal would sometimes read a psalm at school-wide gatherings in the auditorium. Things have changed since then. We hear reports that in France anything openly religious is forbidden in school: Muslim students cannot wear a head scarf, and Christian students cannot wear a cross.

It seems that the most influential forces in North American society have seized on the concept of not favoring one religion over another, and have escalated into a crusade to erase all signs of religion among us. As people “push the envelope,” moral principles are called into question. Recently the news reported, without hint of negative comment, that a woman applied for a license to marry her own father. It is also reported that in one city there are public celebrations in favor of sadism (taking delight in inflicting pain on others).

Such trends are not surprising. Paul says that “not many . . . influential” people responded to Christ, that “God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things . . . so that no one may boast before him.” It would seem that many university professors, newspaper editors, well-placed politicians—people with pride of place and accomplishment—suppress their desperate need for forgiveness of sin. But no matter our status in life, we all need Jesus.

Father, we are thankful that you love and accept us. Give us humility, and show us our need. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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