Thursday, July 21, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holy Marriage-Lasting Life of Love
1 Cor. 13:1-13,14:1
  
Christin Mathew

Epiphany MTC

8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
 
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, was responsible for many of the epistles in the New Testament. Paul wrote to various people that made up the 1st century of believers. To this day, nearly two millennia later, we reflect upon the truths that he eagerly wanted to share with the early churches. When trying to understand why he wrote these letters, we have to take the context into consideration. To whom is he writing? What truth is Paul trying to reveal?
 
Difficulties in Corinth: The people of Corinth did not have a solid faith foundation. To get some insight regarding their predicament, we have to look at where they were living. Corinth is situated in present-day Greece. At that period in history, Greece was a land of commerce, great minds and cultural diversity. Also, proximity to the seas allowed people to come and go for trade and business. The early believers essentially stood at a crossroad in Corinth. Many in Greece identified with pagan beliefs and rituals. The church in Corinth struggled with its identity. This led to a crisis in both the marriages and families of Jesus’ followers in Corinth. As a result, the early church was becoming torn apart in many facets such as lack of love, broken families, and conflict between the believers in faith. Leaders of the church saw this situation and decided to reach out to Paul. He responded.
 
Love is the key: Throughout Paul’s first letter to the Church in Corinth, he tries to place emphasis on one point in particular: love. Paul knew what difficulties the people in Corinth were going through. His answer to their problems is love from God. However, he does not end his advice there. He goes into detail regarding what love encompasses. This is seen in verses 4 through 8. Paul wants the people of Corinth to show love to one another, and additionally, marriage ties into that vision perfectly. God affirms this plan in the Garden of Eden. He created Eve for Adam and proclaimed that is not “good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2: 18).  It is not coincidental that Paul’s words are often quoted in the context of marriages (1 Cor. 13: 4-8). Through marriage, the early believers in Corinth were able to showcase true love to people around that did not experience their God. Love acts as a “cure-all” here. The same principle of love holds true today as well. God’s plan for our lives is better understood via love and marriage. We can show others around us how marvelous holy marriage is while showing them what true love is all about.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, help us to realize that we are not so different from the early believers in Corinth. We have difficulties in many aspects of our social, family, and personal lives. We pray that we can learn to love in a way Paul envisioned for the believers in Corinth. Also, we pray that through marriage we can love each other properly and help others to do the same. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Husband and wife become one body with marriage and also a part of the union of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The fruit of such coexistence is a lasting life of love.