Main Text: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Matthew 5:21-37)
Throughout the season of Epiphany, we have been stressing that you are called. We all are called by the grace of God and by virtue of our baptism. This call is not an insurance policy that you put in a drawer. We are not called to live split lives that behaves like the world but believes in the kingdom. As Jesus said, “a house divided against itself can’t stand.” The Corinthian community was divided between leaders and groups. They identified themselves as belonging to these groups to the exclusion of others. It was their identity. Paul points out that leadership in the body of Christ is as a servant of the single purpose and mission of God. Paul’s function was to plant. Apollos was responsible for watering. Only God, however, is responsible for the growth. As a community, we are the building. We are the called not only to be the field planted, but the building that houses the harvest. Brick and mortar is not the building of the church. We are the building of the church. If the church is not vibrant, it is because the building is divided. It is because the community is divided. Our reading from Deuteronomy tells us that God has set before us a choice of life and prosperity or death and adversity. The key is holding fast to God. Our reading from Matthew is downright impossible to live. Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law but to fill it full. In these passages, he takes what the leaders had made the law and amplifies it beyond possibility. But you see, it was always beyond our individual reach. It can only be done with and through God. We are the building and not the builder. The choice is clear. We can continue to behave according to human inclination which will lead to adversity and death. Or we can allow ourselves to be built by God into a spiritual building capable of housing the blessings and growth God will provide. Consider your Call brothers and sisters.