Discussion or Journaling
- What life lessons have you learned from your Mom or a Mom-like figure in your life?
- In what ways has she impacted your faith?
I grew up in a home where we went to church every Sunday. One week it was Lutheran, and the next it was Catholic. Every other week we changed churches again. My mom was raised practicing Catholicism, my dad Lutheranism. I had the privilege to experience different ideas, thoughts, and theologies from a very young age. When attending the Catholic church, my family had a little room with a glass wall that we could watch the service from, we were hardly ever hushed. At the Lutheran church, the kids were given crayons and quiet toys to play with during worship. Faith formation at Catholic church was very school-like, there was a blackboard, we sat in chairs and at a table where we did lessons. I felt very grown-up. Faith formation at the Lutheran church included a lot of singing, art, and felt hectic – it was awesome.
Today our reading is from 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
- We have a letter from Paul to the local Christian church in Corinth.
- Corinth is a city full of sin and sinners, at least by moral standards 2000 years ago. There was a lot of money, pagan worship, and practices in place.
- Paul was there for 18 months. Living, working, preaching in the local temple. He worked to convert Jews, Gentiles, and Pagans to the Christan church.
- In this letter, there appears to be a lot of division, after all this is a community of people with different backgrounds coming together. Paul is working to remind the readers of whom they should be following.
This passage starts with Paul asking that the Corinthians agree with each other, that there be no divisions, and that they are united in thoughts for the same purpose. He goes on to say that their fighting is being reported to him. Just in case, the readers are not sure of what he is referring to, he reminds them that they have said “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas”. He sounds, exasperated. Like a tired parent with squabbling kids, tattling on each other. He challenges them by asking, Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? Using a bit of shaming to remind them why they are in this church at all.
We are a people that have been divided before, and we continue to find things to squabble about different things. Some are rather frivolous such as sport teams, or Marvel vs DC. Other topics that we disagree on can have a big impact on our world. LGBTQAI+ rights, racism, politics, and how we manage COVID 19 and our economy. We are people of different backgrounds, thoughts, and ideas on how we care for each other. But we are still – Children of God. We are called to love one another. Issues such as these are important and need to be resolved. COVID 19 and staying at home is more of a challenge for the oppressed in our world than it is for those with privilege. Cases of COVID are higher in communities of color. Domestic assault is on the rise. Rates of death are higher in some communities than others. Young people who do not have stable family lives under normal circumstances are even more unstable now. Alcohol consumption rates have increased everywhere. These are stressful times that we are in. More stress brings more disagreement. On my social media, I see many people drawing lines. You are on this side or that. You are democrat or republican. You care about the economy or people’s lives. I have found that if I let my fear and worry get in the way, I start picking my side too, have you had this experience? So what do we do about it?
I have also seen many posts and people who are caring for the vulnerable. Offering to do errand running. Posting codes that others can use if they are in an abusive situation. Charitable giving is on the rise. People are engaging in social distancing for the sake of others. I also find a lot of courage and strength with God. Engaging in worship at Nativity reminds me that before anything else, I am a child of God. Nativity also offers an abundance of ways to care for others, from We Care Weekend to volunteers calling every household. When I serve others, I stop being first in my mind. My fear of what if’s, is renewed with the assurance that God will provide for God’s children. My worry about the unknowns is replaced with confidence that God is present. When I start with trust in God and God’s love for us all, it helps me to understand the path that I want to be on. If I am ever still unsure, I simply … call Mom. She always knows what to do 🙂
I was not an easy kid when I was young. In the Catholic church, we were in a quiet room because I would not sit still and stop picking on my sister. In the Lutheran church, I was the kid running on top of the tables and causing chaos. I’d like to tell you that I settled down as I grew, but we’ll save that story for a different time. I was a kid that would have made any parent exasperated. My mom was and ist still loving and patient with me. Reminding me of what is important (loving people) why we go to church (to worship God), to stop worrying so much, and to trust. I also learned from her that we may come from different backgrounds, with different ideas we are all children of God.
Not everyone has a great relationship with their mom, or their mom has entered eternal life with Jesus. Reach out to those that you know, and let them know that you are thinking of them on this day. Invite them into conversations that let them share their thoughts and feelings.
- Make a list of all the “other moms” that have inspired you, and list in what way.
- It is Mother’s Day weekend, so make sure that you let your mom know how special she is to you. Do some of the work that she typically does in the house or the yard, cook dinner, and most importantly take the awkward step by telling her how she has impacted your faith.
Father in Heaven, thank you for all of the moms who teach us so much. Jesus, please be with us as we care for those around us. Holy Spirit, give us faith to believe and to trust. AMEN