Our epistle is 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Paul challenges the pride we have in our own wisdom and strength. He warns that all our accomplishments pale before the victory of the cross and only through our acceptance of the Messiah’s sacrifice can we be saved. God has a plan for us and we must trust in Him and not ourselves.

He speaks to the fact that while education and religious practices are not wrong, they are not what will save us. This passage states “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified” (v. 22-23), the New Covenant that God makes with us. God reaches out to us in the example Jesus brings.

He teaches us that through the apparent humiliation and weakness of the Crucifixion we find true glory and strength. We are called to trust God’s power and wisdom, not the false and temporary things we see here. Through Jesus, our connection to eternal life is assured.

Gracious God, though we are sinners, You love us anyway and call us to come back to the promise of salvation. Help us to put our trust in You, and go in faith to share the Good News. Amen.

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