Gospeling in Corinth 2: God-Chosen

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.” (1 Cor 1:26-31)

This passage reminds me of an after-school special aimed at affirming the geeks and nerds who always get picked last on the playground for flag football teams. In this particular episode the chubby kid is shockingly picked first to play quarterback on the cool team and ends up throwing the game-winning pass as the clock runs out.

In God’s economy, in the formation of the Jesus movement, the upside down (or right-side up?) ways of God’s Kingdom place the “nobodies” front and center in the important kingdom advancing work of God.  We’re not the “brightest and the best” in the world’s eyes, but God deliberately chose us to make a point. What’s the point?  Everything we do rests on God’s power and is done for his glory.  We can’t take credit, get puffed up and boastful.  “Everything that we have…comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.”

This should keep us humble.  This should help keep us from looking down on “those people” — whether they be the people we judge as less spiritual, less generous, less gifted, less religious, less committed, less kind or less whatever. We’re all part of Jesus’ fold of ragamuffins by his amazing grace.  We should in turn be gracious to others as we invite still more fools, geeks, nerds, misfits, jerks, and junkies into this new life we’re living “by way of Jesus Christ.”

It’s simply amazing that the high king of the universe and creator of the world decided to start his Revolution of Reconciliation by calling uneducated fishermen and despised tax collectors — not to mention a significant contingent of faithful women disciples in a day when women were beneath such business.  And he’s still adding to them today.  So, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”  God has chosen us; we’re on the team — and the victory is already ours.

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