Our Calling as God's Building
“For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians. 3:9). With these words from Paul, we conclude our Epiphany sermon series on 1 Corinthians and our exploration of our Calling in Christ. In chapter 3, Paul completes his initial response to the “divisions” that he had heard reports of from close personal contacts (“Chloe's people” 1 Corinthians 1:11). His words give us some “solid food” to chew on as we consider what our “participation in Christ” means for us today.
As their pastor and as the apostle sent to them by God, Paul admonishes the Corinthians and us to embrace the radical urbanization of God’s plan for our lives. Pastoral metaphors of fields, crops and sheep; or aqua-cultural images of nets and catches can sometimes get lost in translation today. We can have difficulty in relating to their message as we live in a mostly urban, shopping, building environment. But in this bustling two-port metropolis on the Macedonian/Peloponnesian peninsula, Corinth was the place where “building” and urbanization was the norm. Like our city here in Seoul (and many cities across the globe), it is not hard to imagine the multi-racial, multi-national makeup of the Corinthian fellowship. While Paul rebukes their infantile attitudes, he points to a critical weakness in their (and often our) thinking: putting people in the same room does not necessarily “form” community. There needs to be a solid foundation and an unbreakable bond that can bring people from such different life experiences together. As much as Paul and Apollos have labored and worked to “create” this community, Paul freely and openly confesses that both he and Apollos are merely servants. Christ Jesus is the one and only foundation. His Body and Blood are the real mortar that hold us together. Our “participation” in Christ through Baptism and in the Supper that Jesus has given us forms us to be God’s. We are “God’s Field, God’s Building.” We are growing in Christ together as we feed on the solid food of His Word, His promises and commands.
As we consider our Calling in Christ and our “participation” in Him, we are here to hear. We are here to grow together. We are here to be built up together in Him so that His Name would be known in the community in which God has planted us. This is our Epiphany calling! Do we have room to grow? Absolutely, but God gives us that growth as we feast on His Word together. God grant you a healthy appetite today and all
through the week.