Friday 17 September 2010

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

"Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead?" (v.12)

1 Corinthians 15:12-20 Friday 17 September 2010


Imagine this letter (like all Paul's letters) being read to acongregation gathered for worship. Now Paul turns to the secondground of his faith in the risen Christ: personal experience. (Thefirst was 'infallible proofs' mentioned in yesterday's reading.) This too, of course, istestimony, but it is the testimony of one who was not there at thetime, and yet who is absolutely certain about his ownexperience.

So it connects the people who are listening to the reading with thepeople who were eyewitnesses of the Resurrection. Paul is saying,in effect, that testimony can be trusted if it comes not just fromeyewitnesses of a past event, but also from people (like Paulhimself) who, though not an eyewitness, have come to share in thesame profound experience. Implicitly Paul is inviting those folkgathered in Corinth to share in that experience for themselves, toknow the risen Jesus as he has done.

This is a challenge for every Christian today, and for every churchcongregation - to keep alive the sense, so dominant in the book ofActs, that at any time the risen Jesus, or the Holy Spirit which ishis legacy, might spring a surprise. Often such a surprise came asan unheralded opportunity: we might think of Philip wandering inthe southern desert after a bruising encounter, only to find aforeign diplomat reading the book of Isaiah and desperate for helpin understanding it (Acts8:26-40); or Peter having a dream about how God wanted to breakthrough barriers of national identity, caste and creed, and thenwithin hours facing a distraught officer of the Roman army (Acts10:9-48).

Personal experience became shared good news.

To Ponder

From our vantage point in the 21st century we areperhaps closer to Paul than to Peter and the rest of the 12disciples. Paul's experience can be ours too. Is it yours? How doesChurch help us and others in this - or doesn't it?

Previous Page Thursday 16 September 2010
Next Page Saturday 18 September 2010