Suzanne Collins is the acclaimed author of the hit series "The Hunger Games" - which have recently been made into movies. The second movie came out just a few months ago, and the title is "Catching Fire." The basic premise is that there are twelve districts under the control of one Capital. The main character, Katniss, is commonly referred to as the "Girl on Fire." There's a stroke of genius in the parallels in imagery for the character. Katniss is known as the girl on fire because of several outfits she wears that appear to catch on fire. This image of the "girl on fire" plays a double role because of her ability to inspire rebellion and empower the people of the districts to rise up against the oppression of the Capital. Fire spreads. Catching fire.
You join a church. You attend as much as you can. You give them your money. You give them your time. You put God as your first priority – you are giving up other things to be in this place at that time. The question that comes to my mind is: What’s in it for me? What do I get from it all?
When I was in seminary I had a history professor who used the metaphor of a pendulum swinging back and forth to describe controversies in the church. When people don’t like something, they swing way to the other side, sometimes too far.
A lot of times in life, we look back at the mistakes of the past – and we do our best to avoid those mistakes in the future. This is the point of history, but sometimes we take it too far. (Think about the lesson behind Finding Nemo)
Today, more than ever before, society challenges us in our priorities.
Sports, school, clubs, college applications, family vacations, scholarships, part time jobs, homework, church programs – our children are overwhelmed! Oh yeah, and how about some fun thrown in there too. (They are kids after all).
The truth of the matter is that there simply are not enough hours in a day, nor days in a week, to get it all done. Something is going to get cut. We are forced to prioritize.
[Note to the reader: In this chapter Paul talks about some intense, possibly crude, topics – if it may offend or bother you, maybe don’t read this]
A man having sex with his mother (or possibly step-mother). Dude. Eww.
This is the first issue Paul chooses to address. The Greek term is “porneia” which the NRSV translates as “sexual immorality.” Apparently, there is a man who is “living with his father’s wife.” Paul doesn’t tell us who the man is, but focuses on the people of Corinth and their response instead.
This chapter is a little harder to split up into nice little sections, so we are gonna hit up a few separate themes that come up instead.
The first theme is that of a new Christian. In the first few verses of the chapter Paul talks about the new Christians of Corinth using the analogy of a baby. When a baby is born, obviously it cannot handle a steak dinner right away. The baby has to drink milk and then eventually soft food and then finally steak (or celery, for you vegetarian readers)
So this week is all about 1 Corinthians 2, which is one of my favorite chapters to talk about.
It splits into two major sections: v1-5 and v6-16.
The first section (v1-5) is all about proclaiming Christ.
In v3 Paul talks about coming in weakness and fear and trembling. This, plus some other verses in other books, leads some scholars to think that perhaps Paul had some sort of physical problem – like maybe a stutter or something. He points it out because he wants to emphasize that all the power of his message comes from JESUS!