Feeling Smart?

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Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1 Corinthians 1:20

I’ll be honest. I’ve been struggling with all of the hard things going on around the world lately. And “lately” feels a lot longer than what it used to mean to me. “Lately” can encompass a year or two, or feel like it at the very least. So many things seem confusing and not only out of my control, but out of my ability to understand. I’ve honestly wondered more than once, “Where are the smart people? Can’t the smart people fix this for us?”

But no, the smart people won’t fix this for us. The smart people can’t stop death and grief. The masters of persuasion can’t dictate the reality we actually experience. The wise ones cannot give us definite timelines and perfect answers.

There is nothing like a global pandemic to humble the grandeur of our own making. There is nothing like having all of our plans thrown out the window, staying home during Lent, and looking ahead to the Triduum to shake us from our navel gazing reverie.

Maybe this life isn’t all about me. Maybe my definitions for success and acuity are not enough to bring me through this stressful, strange time. Maybe there is something more to… everything…

We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:23-25.

What we are doing together – whenever we gather for worship, while we move through Holy Week, as we celebrate Easter with the sunrise – is letting go. We are letting go of our illusion of control. We are letting go of living a life centered on ourselves, or anything that is “ours.” We are saying to the world that we know it doesn’t make sense. We know that there are lots of smart people out there who say there isn’t enough proof or fact to persuade them of this reality. We know all of that. And it’s okay. Because this isn’t about me and what I know. This isn’t about how perfect we are or are not in community. This is about the One God who works through it all to bring true life, even in the face of death.

God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are… 1 Corinthians 1:28

As we wrestle and struggle through things that don’t make sense, God is still with us, in the midst of it all, working according to God’s own purpose.

…so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:29-31

And what is God’s purpose? That we return to the source of our life. That we let God be God. So that our lives are grounded by the wisdom incarnate in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Let this be our foundation, our center, no longer boasting in our accomplishments but in what has been accomplished in our one Lord Jesus Christ.

Go forward with boldness, fully present in the gift of every moment of your life, meeting Jesus there with every breath. Amen.

Casey Cross

Casey Cross

Young Disciples Director - Hope Lutheran Church

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Diane McGeoch

    I needed these words today. Thank you Casey. I’ve been thinking I had to do more and accomplish more. But all I need to do is return to God. Again and again.

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