Lent – Day 23: Monday, 15 March

Lent – Day 23: Monday, 15 March

1 Corinthians 8:4-6

4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘An idol is nothing at all in the world’ and that ‘There is no God but one.’ 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Paul quotes the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4 – see Day 4 of this series), reminding his listeners, who were not all believers from a Jewish background, that there is only one God, and that idols are not of God.

Paul calls God ‘Father’, just as Jesus did. Jesus had some right to call God by that name, but Paul knows he can also do it, because of what Jesus did in bringing us by his blood to Father God.

There is but one Lord, Jesus. Paul doesn’t call him God the Son, but see the subtle change of wording when he describes the Father and when he describes the Lord Jesus.

Verse 6: ‘From/for’ and ‘through’. These are words that can easily be seen as interchangeable or at least so similar as to make no difference, especially if we let words slip by in worship, but there is a difference. Just as Jesus told his disciples that he is the way to Father God (we come through our Lord Jesus to Father God), so the construct works in reverse as well – All things come from God through Jesus. I’ll let you soak yourself in meditating upon Paul’s use of the words ‘for’ and ‘through’ in terms of how we live. It’s best read out loud until you know the words well enough not to have to read them.

He was there at the beginning. What a revelation.

Is there any way in which we might bypass Jesus when we approach Father God?

Father God, I come to you through Jesus, through the gateway that he created by his death on the cross, through the wounded side and crown of thorns, through the nail-marks in his hands and the ripped flesh on his back. And you give to me all that you are through your beloved Son Jesus, whom you love. By this alone I am worthy to stand before you and by this alone I receive your love. Thank you, Father God, thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen

In Christ we live – the first video is the theme song for a young people’s convention in South Africa. The second is a short excerpt from that convention (the row-end stewards are a bit older!). I leave you to figure out the numbers.