Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:10-23
16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. (NRSV)
Paul’s letter to friends at Corinth advises them how to live Christian lives. He describes them as buildings, built on the teachings of Jesus, and in which the Spirit of God resides.
Challenging his friends to act like temples of God, Paul warns them against believing that they or others possess sufficient wisdom to know God. Instead, he encourages them to listen to the Spirit of God residing inside of them for direction.
An incident related by Professor Thomas Long in the anthology, Awakened to A Calling, may illustrate Paul’s message:
I had just recently joined a church near the campus of a major university. The congregation prided itself on having many university and seminary professors as members. At a family night dinner I sat by a man I had not met. I asked him how long he had been a member of the church. He replied, “I’ve been a part of this church all my life. In fact, I’m the last nonintellectual left in this congregation. I have not understood a sermon that has been preached here in twenty-five years.”
He went on to say that he would never leave the church. On Monday nights he and other members took the church van to a nearby youth correction facility to play table tennis, do Bible study, and mainly, show concern for the inmates. He added, “I started doing this because I thought it’s the kind of thing that a Christian ought to do. Now, I would not miss a Monday night, because I have found it nourishes my soul. You know, you can’t prove any of the promises of God in advance. But I found that if you live them, they’re true. Every one.”
Help us, O God, to listen to the inner messages you send us and to be moved to action by your Spirit within us. Amen.