If I’m honest, my week often feels like David’s (if we were to imagine that this week’s Psalms were a daily update on how life is going for David). Some days, particularly Monday’s reading, feel pretty bleak and like the enemies are winning. It takes all my energy to get through the day, trusting that God will be with me because it is hard to see. Other days, like in Psalm 8, it is like things just fall into place and I can catch my breath for a moment. It is in that place that I can reflect and am reminded of that heavenly perspective:
‘What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.’ Psalms 8:4-5 NLT
This makes my heart glad and I can begin to lift my gaze, to find new strength to face those worries that seem so big to me but are really such little worries for our great majestic God who cares deeply about each of us.
Now onto 1 Corinthians. Paul is fully into his list of instructions for the church. It feels a lot like they have been struggling for unity and Paul is trying to give practical advice for how to get on and grow together in holiness.
There are some old favourites in this week’s passages – from the section in chapter 11 about taking communion, to chapter 13 talking about love. There are also some more uncomfortable passages. For me this is where systematically reading through books is such a good discipline – it would be very easy to just pick the well known, the comfortable, the beautiful and leave the hard work passages to someone with ‘more theological knowledge’ than me. But life is messy. We are messy, just as we saw in the Psalms. But God still perseveres with us. If some of the parts you read this week baffle you or just seem plain offensive in modern times can I challenge you to read up on them. Go deeper: Read a commentary, talk to others in church who are reading along with you, pray.
And if like David, your week looks like it’s already shaping up to be a battle, hear this:
‘So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.’ 1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT.
Some questions for you to think about this week:
- Who or what are your ‘enemies’?
- If some of the passages seem more familiar, read them slowly – what stands out that you hadn’t noticed before?
- Are there situations at church that you find difficult? How can you personally promote unity and work together with others?