Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany – C3

Years C
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Proclaimed and received - a circuit through which energy might flow. This is a valuable tool that can evolve as it works.

We might want to take a step back to remember the expansive love of G*D proclaimed to Saul. Was that proclamation as early as Saul's learning with Gamaliel or was it present in the stoning of Stephen? Might it have been heard as Saul went around persecuting followers of a risen Christ? How many times might Saul have fallen on his face in recognition that G*D's steadfast love was not threatened by folks trying to honor it in a different way? Finally, outside Damascus, Saul received a proclamation and life changed. Paul arises.

How many proclamations had come to the folks at Corinth before Paul came along and a proclamation and a reception connected?

The proclamation seems to be that a risen Christ can and has appeared to many in every generation. This appearance transforms people's lives, changes their named identity.

How many different ways has this connection between Christ and an individual or group occurred? As many ways as there are people and groups. Whether it was one way or another for you, it is probably different for me, and different from either of us when we are dealing with someone else.

We can get caught up in doctrinally defining Jesus in this passage, but that won't get too far. It is far better to look at the sweep of process, proclamation and reception, in all its many combinations and permutations. This will keep us ready to receive strangers, unaware as we are of the spirit's work with them.

= = = = = = =

the last of the apostles
is a very hallowed position
we all want to be the culmination

the first of the apostles
is important but the new and improved version
finally arrived can't be beat

yes, apostles can define everyone else
out of their ranks and ranking
but mystery abounds beyond apostles

the last is never last
take a breath and you're next to last
thus the danger of pride of reception

may we so hallow the next apostle
that we will find our apostleship
confirmed in giving it up

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