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Saturday, March 26, 2022
Today’s Scripture Reading | 1 Corinthians 10:1–13
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.
Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. (NRSV)
In sitting with this passage, I’ve spent most of my time taking Paul’s warnings as a personal admonishment, and I must admit that I didn’t want to hear any of it because I couldn’t reconcile his advice to “watch out that you do not fall” so as not to be “struck down in the wilderness” with my own understanding of grace because I felt like Paul was warning me that I could mess up and be reprimanded by God for doing so.
As I grappled with this dissonance and reading through multiple commentaries on this passage, I began to wonder if I was taking this all a bit too personally as I was drawn to the language of “our,” “all,” “us,” “we,” and so forth. While I was stuck on fearing being tested on my own, I failed to recognize that I am not alone in any of this, just as the Corinthians weren’t.
While I am still refraining from worshiping in person, that doesn’t mean that I’m an island in my spiritual journey—I still have a church community that I can turn to when I feel like I’m being overtaken. God is always there and my faith community is always there—I’m never truly on my own.
Dear God, in those moments when I feel alone, you remind me that you are always there and that I have a vast community of saints who journey with me, even when we are not physically together. That is some good news. Amen.
Written by Katrina Buchanan, Editorial Assistant
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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