Thursday, February 9, 2017

Epiphany 6 A - 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

I think it is worth noting that Paul never speaks critically of Apollos and since Paul never pulls his punches it must mean that Apollos did not encourage the Corinthians divided loyalty. According to Acts 18:24, Apollos was “an eloquent man, mighty in the scriptures” while Paul describes his own abilities as possessing neither wise nor persuasive words. Sadly those who plant and those who water often do not value each other’s roles and promote their position while devaluing the other. Congregations can also sow the seeds of clergy competition, feeding preacher’s egos with flattery and before you know it like the Corinthians divided loyalties have fanned the flames of jealously and quarreling. But when servant leaders working together recognize in each other the gift of unique abilities for shared mission and ministry the church is strengthened for the common purpose of blessing the world with the grace of God. That calls for a maturity of faith and the solid food of humility in the pulpit and the pew. That happens when both preacher and parishioner remember that “it is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community.” (D. Bonhoeffer Life Together)

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