Pause

In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 7:12, NRSV

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Listen

Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, which is a scandal to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. But to those who are called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. This is because the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

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Think

Have you ever experience a clash in culture? I grew up in the Midwest in Michigan but have also lived on the east coast. I’ll never forget an early grocery store trip. I was friendly, smiling at folks and trying to chat up the cashier. I was met with silence and taken aback by this different culture.

Paul is writing to a group of people – Jews and Gentiles – who not only experience a culture clash but who are also afraid of one another. They are afraid that they will have to change too much or that their way of living won’t be honored. This fear is breeding not just awkward exchanges in the grocery store but also hatred.

Paul reminds them that their categories are false. God’s ways are not our ways. We might think we are wise or that our way is the best, but it pales in comparison to the life and wisdom to which God calls us.

Susan Sytsma Bratt

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Pray

Gracious God, I confess my sin of fear that drives me away from others. Today help me to see all of your children as image bearers of you. Tune me in to your wisdom and ways as I go about my day. Amen.

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Go

Go out into God’s world in peace.

Have Courage.

Hold onto what is good.

Return to no one evil for evil.

Strengthen the fainthearted.

Support the weak.

Help the suffering.

Honor all people.

Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Susan Sytsma Bratt

Susan Sytsma Bratt is the Associate Pastor at Northridge Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. She drinks way too much coffee and loves exploring the world with her husband and their daughter.

Reflections on the Way: Jesus the Very Thought of Thee - How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place

Ken Medema

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