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Setting an Example

1 Corinthians 15:1  Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2  through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain. 3  For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4  and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5  and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8  Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9  For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them--though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11  Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

St Paul writes of a faith that has been handed down from person to person: I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received (1 Co 15:3). While we as Christ-followers treasure our Scriptures as sacred, our faith is not confined to the written page. Ours is a faith that is learned from those who have gone before us. Paul lists those who had gone before him, adding his gratitude that he “the least of the apostles” could also be an inheritor of the faith.

Today – give thanks for those spiritual fathers and mothers who have handed down their faith experiences to you. And then let us be reminded by Paul that we are handing on our faith to others who look to us for courage: “we proclaim and so you have come to believe” (1 Co 15:11).

Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.

Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924 

For Thought

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.”

Albert Einstein


The Fifth Sunday in Lent

From Death to Life

The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Rueben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 129.

This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day

“To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” Finley Peter Dunne (1867–1936)