September 18, 2017

Thanks for Others on the Journey

1 Corinthians 1:1-9

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

—  1 Corinthians 1:4

We don’t know a lot about the people to whom Paul was writing in the ancient city of Corinth. But we do know that the people struggled sometimes with getting along.

That shouldn’t surprise us. If you belong to some kind of com­munity of faith, whether it’s a family, small group, house church, or large congregation, you know there is sometimes discord and disagreement. That happens in all kinds of groups and gatherings.

Paul’s greeting to the church in Corinth gives a helpful perspective. First, Paul affirms that living out our faith in community with one another is God’s intent for us. The Bible from beginning to end makes clear that God blesses and lives among the family or community of faith that he is gathering together.

Second, Paul identifies the glue that gathers God’s people together and keeps them united to one another. That glue is God’s grace. God’s grace not only covers all our sins and unites us to Christ as individuals; it also helps us see others as people for whom Christ was willing to die. When we see others through God’s grace-filled eyes, our bonds with one another are strengthened. This requires the hard work of dying to our own preferences and egos and giving thanks to God for his grace that brings us all together. Let’s ask for God’s help with that today!

Gracious God, thank you for placing us among ­others who seek to follow Jesus. Help us to be faithful together. In Christ’s name, Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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