“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
It happened to be one of those Sunday mornings.
You know the ones.
After getting up a little too late and speeding through six showers in record time (if you’re lucky, you made it in the top half with hot water), vetoing one growing boy’s high-water pants that were sent back for a last minute outfit change, breaking up sibling quarrels and refereeing which poor children had to sit in the loathed back seat of the minivan, we slipped into the back pew just as the music began to play. I stared at the packed rows in front of us.
How do these people pull off looking like they have their acts together week after week?
My friend across the aisle smiled and waved, and I shot back the best “church smile” I could muster as sweat beads slowly dripped down my back. As the piano began to play, I desperately wanted to prepare my heart for worship. I wanted to have it all together and give my best to Jesus. But all I could think about was the impatience, anger, and harsh words that had hijacked our morning.
The fifteen minute drive to church had humbled us. Apologies were offered and forgiveness was extended. But sitting in that pew – dressed in our Sunday best and trying to pretend like nothing had happened – left me feeling like an imposter.
Man, we’re broken.
With our Bibles open to 1 Corinthians 11, the deacons made their way to the front to pass the bread and the cup. Lord, communion… today of all days?! I instantly felt so unworthy.
In my pride, I had wanted our family to walk through those church doors that morning looking like we had our act together. I wanted to be strong instead of weak. I wanted to be polished instead of falling apart. I wanted to settle in on that Sunday morning – and every day for that matter – feeling pretty great about myself and all that I had accomplished. But the church isn’t a perfect place full of perfect people.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
It’s a place for the sick to come and find hope – not in their own wisdom, status, or performance – but in the person and work of Jesus.
It’s where the truth of who He is trumps our flaws and failures; where we worship Him for the depth of His forgiveness and the newness of His mercies.
It’s where the broken are welcomed and where the weary can find rest; where His wisdom reigns over the hardness of our hearts and the loud voices of the world.
It’s where once again we can find the end of ourselves at the foot of the cross, humbled by His sacrifice and amazed by His transforming power in us.
It’s where we can be filled up to go out and proclaim to a lost world that it isn’t us – but rather Him – who has done it all.
This is Christ. Hallelujah, this is Christ in us!
It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus. Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord…
At His feet,
Let’s talk: In what areas are you tempted to boast in yourself instead of the Lord? Like Paul, where is God calling you to speak up and boldly make much of Him?