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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Today’s Reading | 1 Corinthians 15:12–28

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all. (NRSV)


Reflection

Some of the Corinthian Christians had difficulty affirming the resurrection of the dead, even though they believed Christ had been raised from the dead. The Apostle Paul urged them—and us—to believe in the resurrection of the dead by proclaiming the sovereignty of God: all things are subjected under God so that God may be all in all. God will put every ruler, authority and power, and all enemies under God’s feet. “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” Death has lost its old dominion. God has the last word.

This echoes other words from Paul in Romans 8:37: “In all this, we are more than conquerors through God who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In life and in death, in life beyond death, we belong to God. Believing this frees us to trust in God’s eternal love, invest our lives in hope for God’s kingdom on earth, and work with confidence for God’s purposes, even though we may not fully see that work bear fruit in our lifetime.


Prayer

I praise you, O God, who causes hope to spring up from the ground. Christ is risen. Christ is giving life eternal, life profound. May my life proclaim your victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Prayer adapted from Nicolas Martinez’s hymn “Christ Is Risen”)


Written by Victoria Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission


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