Lectionary Year A
February 3, 2002

1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals

(JFC) At the end of the first part of "Ordinary Time" in the liturgical calendar, some parishioners might need or at least appreciate, some enlightenment, re: how ordinary times might take on some more extraordinariness, i.e., with God's being in it.

B. Describing the Audience

(JFC) Any congregation having lost sight of God's involvement in their managing and resolving local conflict might need and/or at least appreciate some new re-envisioning of God's sovereign pro-activation in the processes.

C. Contemporary Address

(JFC) A sermon, entitled for this working draft, "God's Timeless Times"

The Apostle Paul envisioned a God of the past, of the present and of the future.
I. God in The Past

A. To the Corinthians - the Triune ("Let us create . . .") God was well known to have created a universe in which human life developed in a comfortable and even convenient environment. Thereby, we are rescued from a hostile context, in which a less thoughtful God might have caused us to try to survive, let alone live and prosper.

B. To us today - Christ, especially, according to Paul, was the new Creator (II Corinthians 5:17). We have been created by both the triune God at the beginning of time and the New Creator, Christ, since His crucifixion and resurrection. All this is past action. It is history. Susan Sontag said, "The past itself, as historical change continues to accelerate, has become the most surreal of subjects - making it possible . . . to see a new beauty in what is vanishing." Let us keep it from vanishing, Okay?

II. God in The Present

A. To the Corinthians, God was very present as the dynamic One who is, PRESENT TENSE, IS the Power for life and salvation. For them, God was, to them, in the Present Tense, IS wiser than human wisdom in the first century.

B. To us, here and now, we are, as were the early Corinthians Christians, in Christ. He is, presently present with us and presently He is our wisdom and righteousness and holiness and redeemer.

III. God in The Future

A. To the Corinthians, God was the same God promising to be their God in the future as in the past and in their present stages of faith development. The French mystic philosopher, Simone Weil (1909-1943) wrote in "Some Thoughts on the Love of God", "The future is made of the same stuff as the present." When the Corinthians sensed God in the present, they surely believed God to remain on into and through the future, even into and through Eternity.

B. To us, contemporarily, Christ is a reality we believe will be even more real in the future than even now He is. For then, we believe, "we shall see Him face to face", as it were.


This God of the past, of the present and of the future has been with us as with the Corinthians, is with us, as with the Corinthians and will ever be with us as with the Corinthians.

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