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Living Spirit

This letter from Paul to the Corinthians is one of earliest writings in the New Testament, alongside his Thessalonian correspondence. It predates the writing of the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation by decades. Moreover, it is one of the earliest writings to follow on the heels of the Christ event (namely the life, ministry, death and resurrection) some twenty to twenty-five years later. It’s a passage you need to read carefully as Paul is in full flight with his descriptors and the way he is linking things together. I think what he is trying to get at is the importance of our faith in Christ and just how fundamental that is to the way we live out our lives and be the children of God. There are hints of the Creeds in this passage, spelling out just what it is we believe as followers of Christ. There is proof that Christ was raised from the dead with the number of witness who saw him after that Good Friday. We get a little bit of the story of what happened after Easter Sunday and when and where Jesus appeared to the apostles. We also get a bit of Paul’s guilt at the way he persecuted the followers of Christ and then amazing humility that Paul is considered to be an apostle. Paul’s encounter with Christ changed his life, and we are told this to help us seek such an encounter and life changing transformation. But then again, it is the story of people’s encounters with the risen Christ that can have such an amazing impact on our lives. Our belief in Christ is something we need to own and acknowledge, but we usually begin to experience it through the stories and lives of others. If you think of the story of the Christian movement, it has been handed down from generation to generation. Not everyone connects and experiences the love and grace of God, but there have been more than enough people in our lives to have passed on that faith. We also struggle with it, for some it is stronger than for others, but we don’t come to faith in Christ through our own knowledge, we are helped and guided into this encounter. What is ours is the decision to receive the love and grace that is offered to us and become followers of Christ. Once we make that decision our lives are changed forever, just as Paul’s was, and we must share that love and grace with all who will listen. We must remember, however, that it is Jesus Christ who steps in and makes the connection not us, we just open the door. Jay Robinson

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