Last Saturday we began our visioning process at Oak Hill. As we seek to discern God’s dream for this particular congregation at this particular point in its life, we’re also reading Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth.
“Why?”, you may ask. Because in this letter, Paul casts a vision for what the church looks like when it is living at its best. It’s a vision that I hope shapes our vision as a church today.
In the scripture for this week (1 Corinthians 8:1-13), Paul deals with a specific question asked by the Corinthian congregation: Is it okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols?
If you would like historical background on this issue, please refer to the study guide Pastor Missy and I wrote. (Click here to download the study guide)
I realize this is not a question we ask today. Yet we do ask our own questions about how God calls us to live: What is a Christian position on a certain moral issue? How can I live as a faithful spouse, parent, or friend? How should I respond to someone with whom I vehemently disagree? We all have questions about life and faith.
In response to the question of eating meat sacrificed to idols, Paul offers a clear answer: It’s fine. He gives a sound theological reason.
Yet he cautions that it is not enough to “know” the right answer, for “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). He insists that we care how our actions affect others, particularly those who are weak in their faith.
One of the most important things we do as a church community is care for others. As a church we offer food and a warm cot to people without a home. As a church we bring food and love on one another at the birth of a child or death of a loved one.
When we care for one another, Paul reminds us that we are living as the church at its best, its very best.
Think about your own life:
- When was a time someone genuinely cared for you?
- What did that experience mean to you at the time? What does it mean to you today?
- Based on your personal experience of someone caring for you, how do you sense God calls us to live as a church called Oak Hill?