8 March 2017

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

“Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” (vv. 26-27)

Psalm: Psalm 119:33-48


If you're feeling low and under attack by people who seem to believe that you are inferior to them, what's the thing you need most?


In that first verse, does what Paul is saying sound encouraging?


Let's hope that the people who heard this letter read to them didn't get so discouraged by the first statement that they failed to hear the second.

The truth is that most of us, whether in the church or not, don't reckon ourselves to be especially wise or influential, and there are obviously limits to the number of those who are of noble birth. So when we feel under attack we may not feel able to cope; or when we're asked to speak out we may not feel adequately equipped to do so and if someone is looking down on us with a superior attitude, it may weaken even the little confidence that we have. At that point we need the reassurance of someone who knows what they're talking about and can spur us into action. And the best encouragement of all is to know that whatever we consider ourselves to be, God considers us worthy of being called to be witnesses to our faith.

God speaks and calls to speaking
those who have the right potential,
or the yet-unknown ability,
to answer the call.
Confident or feeling hopeless,
ordinary or unusual,
any age will be accepted,
inclusivity, the norm.

For God knows why each is chosen,
as wise parents know their children
and will offer loving guidance
for the days that lie ahead.
And God has watched the growing
and has waited for that moment
when the call may have an answer,
hesitant though it may be.
Then God speaks with reassurance
and with perfect understanding
and will wait, if necessary,
for the call to be obeyed.

When God speaks and calls to speaking
we who may have the potential,
or the yet-unknown ability,
then what will our answer be?

© Marjorie Dobson

To Ponder

  • What is your reaction when you meet someone who seems determined to make you feel small and inadequate? How do you regain your self-confidence?
  • What do you say to someone who asks you why you believe in that 'God nonsense'?

Bible notes author

Marjorie Dobson

Marjorie Dobson is a local preacher and a writer of hymns, prayers, poetry and short dramatic pieces for use in worship. She particularly enjoys writing character pieces - 'getting under the skin of the real person that hides in the shadows of a good story'.