It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Way Out, a Reflection on 1 Corinthians 10:11-13

Often we use scripture to comfort ourselves or others, but, sometimes, we can use it to harm. I'm thinking of what someone told me last week. A friend of hers was at the funeral of one of her children when somebody came up to her and quoted verse 13, "The Lord won't give us more than we can bear." The grieving mother thought, "Oh, if only I had been weaker, would this have happened?"

I'm once again looking at Ronald Allen and Clark Williamson's Preaching the Letters without Dismissing the Law. They stress that we shouldn't assume that every bad thing that happens to us was planned that way be God. Rather, as they put it, "They arise simply from the fallen nature of the world. Paul's enduring point is that God is faithful, and the divine presence makers it possible for us to live though such experiences."

Another thing that Allen & Williamson find problematic in this text is verse 11, "These things happened to them to be an example for us." We can agree with Paul that other people's failures and successes can help us as we go through our own lives, but we don't have to assume that their lives weren't pretty important to the folks living them.

And, I do agree that good and bad examples can be instructive. And, I agree that being a good example is not always easy. And, further, I agree with the last part of verse 13, that when we are tested, God will provide a way for us to respond and to endure.

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