Access to some helpful words, and Paul says, “stop with the leader worship!”

I started a newsletter last year called, “Finding Words in Hard Times”. It’s a collection of resources for people trying to figure out what to say when things are rough, particularly around grief and hospitals. You can read past issues and sign up. I’ve got a new issue coming out next week, the first of 2023.

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“Stop being distracted by things that don’t matter.” I wrote that on my to-do list on Thursday. It didn’t help, exactly. Though it did prompt me to stop clicking and scrolling a couple times. It is so easy to have my energy and annoyance get spent forming opinions (or simply reacting) to problems that are not mine, to arguments about irrelevant things.

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On Sunday, one of our texts will be from 1 Corinthian 1, where Paul writes, “For I have been informed concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, ‘I am with Paul,’ or ‘I am with Apollos,’ or ‘I am with Cephas,’ or ‘I am with Christ.’ Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he?”

I’m reflecting on this as I prepare. I’m reminded that our tendency to argue over who is the most spiritual follower of Jesus goes back to a couple decades after Jesus put his work into the hands (and feet and voices) of his disciples. And it’s just as foolish now as it was then.

And we still need Paul’s words when he wraps up that argument a couple chapters later: “So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”

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