Super Bowl Sunday and I know what is on everyone’s mind — Patriots football – but not only football food as well. What could be more American than eating tortilla chips, wings, chill and pizza on Super Bowl Sunday.
Papa John’s has been reported to hope to sell over one millions pizza orders by the end of the night. Super Bowl Sunday is a time for friends and family to gather together and commune with one another as they watch football, and a bunch of commercials. I wonder what Paul would have to say about the amount of food consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.
Paul says sure – eat whatever we want — but, don’t let that or anything else that you do create a stumbling block to others.
Paul wants us to recall the importance of community. That’s what we want as well, to build community with and for one another. That’s one reason we gather together to gather to support one another.
There are a number of people in the Corinthian community that think they have the answers, not only do they think they have the right answers but they are going to impose those answers on others.
Is that the proper thing to do?
We have values, interests, opinions. Sometimes we are right and some times we are wrong, but the question that Paul is struggling with, the question that the people in Cornith struggle with and I think many times the question that we struggle with is –Is it more important to be right - or to be in relationship with one another. Click To Tweet
We can be right, but is that more important than the relationships we have in our lives?
So Paul begins to address what seems to be controversy within the Corinthian church: Whether one could eat meat from animal sacrifices in Greek religious ceremonies. This has come up because most meat sold in the city likely came from temples. It was used in an offering to an idol – a greek god.
Does that mean it can’t be eaten by those who believe in The God — Christians? The reality was that many Corinthians could not afford meat on a regular basis.
So they have an opportunity to buy cheap meat. Some would call that good stewardship, but others would say that they meat sacrificed to an idol is not something that could be bought and used by Christians.
The issue that Paul has is not the meat Paul says he has no problem with those who eat any meat they want, wherever they want to eat it. However, Paul encourages the people in the Corinthian church, as well as us — the decisions we make as a community are made to lift up the community.
What are the rules that we need to follow according to Jesus?
Love God and love one another.
Jesus is more interested in how we build one another up, not are we following the right rules.
Thats what Paul is trying to tell us, and I think that’s what Jesus is for in the Gospel lesson as well. Jesus wants the community to support its members and to make the community whole.
So when Jesus encounters a man with an unclean spirit coming to him and yelling at him, he recognizes that some thing is wrong. Jesus casts the spirit away. Jesus has come to oppose all the forces that keep the children of God from the abundant life God desires for all of us.
Because we are all possessed with something! Everyday we experience emotions – and the ones that tear us away from God and one another are the ones that we remember the most – the anger, fear, frustration, sadness, hurt, and pain…..these are the confusing emotions, these are the ones that some days can’t let go.
When we feel these emotions coming over us. We can trust that God is there because God shows up where we least expect God to be. God shows us in a manger, born in a feeding trough among the animals. God shows up in our baptisms, when the heavens are torn apart and the spirit depends upon each and every one of us. God shows up in a man possessed by an unclean spirit, when that spirit is cast away. God shows up in the cry of despair from Jesus on the cross when the only one that recognized God’s presence was the one who crucified him.
God shows up in our lives. In the good times when we feel blessed and loved, but also in our struggles, when there is hurt and conflict in our lives and in our church. God promises to be with us.Our God is a God of the broken, and our church is a fellowship of the needy. Click To Tweet
God continues to be at work in our lives and the world, sometimes even through us. As we respond to and share God’s love with the world, as we continue to build up our community by supporting one another and in our conversations remember that It’s not about the rules but about the relationship we have with one another.
At the center of our relationship when we gather together every Sunday is a God who continues to love us, support us and care for us. A God who comes into each of our lives because we are blessed and loved by God, and because God comes into our lives to love us, we can respond to that love and share that love with the world. Amen
To hear the full sermon click on the link below: