A Crucified Life
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom…
1 Cor. 2:3-4a
Paul practices what he preaches.
For the last several weeks, we have heard Paul reminding the Corinthians to focus on Jesus, to think with the mind of Jesus, and to be humble. In short, Paul calls on them to remember the cross of Jesus and apply it to their lives.
In the reading for this weekend (1 Cor. 2:1-5), Paul makes it clear that they are not to think of Jesus as a great and powerful hero. “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2 emphasis added). The cross is central to understanding Jesus. The power of God looks like weakness and a cross.
Paul reminds the Corinthians that he showed them this kind of crucified life when he was with them. In Paul, a leader of their community, the Corinthians see a person applying the cross of Jesus to his life. Paul does not hide his weakness. He boldly proclaims that he is weak. Just like the Corinthians, Paul needs God’s power of salvation. And God’s power of salvation looks like a cross.
So Paul does not write to the Corinthians as an “expert” or someone who is above them. He holds himself to the same standards he expects from them. Paul points to his life and not just his words. This is what gives him credibility and integrity.
Let’s pray that we all live with this same kind of credibility, by relying on the cross of Jesus.
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood
Parish Pastoral Leader