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Monday, October 21, 2013
Today’s Reading | 1 Corinthians 15:1–11
Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you —unless you have come to believe in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them —though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe. (NRSV)
When I learned about the 1920s as a high school student, I felt like I’d really missed my decade. Zoot suits, jazz, Hemmingway . . . How could I possibly have been born in 1978?
I love verse 8 in this passage—the bit about Paul being “untimely born.” Another translation says “as if I was born at the wrong time.” Paul is asking a question many of us have entertained: Have you ever wondered what it would have been like if you were born at another time? What about in another place? Here’s one that may hit a little closer to home: do you think you’d be happier if you had a different job, or lived in a different place, or had a different spouse?
One of the most deceptive things about happiness is the idea that if we were someplace else, sometime else, with someone else, everything about us would be complete. The reality is that none of these external influences will “fix” us. The fact is that you are where you are supposed to be. Paul, finding himself in a difficult place, asked why he was untimely born but concluded that he should do his best with the place and time in which he found himself. What will you do with the day you have been given, in the place and the time where you find yourself?
God, please grant me the insight to do the best I can with the day you have given me, in this place and time, surrounded by the people you have placed alongside me. Amen.
Written by Adam Fronczek, Associate Pastor for Adult Education and Worship
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