Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Thursday prior to Epiphany 3

 1 Corinthians 7:29-31—Live in the light of Christ’s imminent return. This reading comes from the chapter dealing with marriage. The Lesson begins with life— lives in relation to the end of the world and Christ’s return.  Paul teaches that the status quo in one’s life should be maintained, for soon the whole song will be over. A Christian is not to get involved with the world or to change his vocation. He is to continue doing what he has been doing, for the end of life on earth is near. Today’s life is to be viewed in relation to eternity.

When this is done, the present issues of earthly life become insignificant. Paul is not teaching withdrawal from the world [such as the Amish community] but to tolerating and persevering in what we are now doing.

In verses 29-31 Paul uses “as though” five times. He urges us to live as though conditions did not exist. It is a kind of “make believe” style of life. Since the end of the world is at hand, we are to live as though the world no longer existed. It is a manner of living that does not take seriously the things of this passing world. Our interests and values are set upon Christ’s values.

Paul is literally saying, "Let your every contact with the world be as light as possible."  Keep a light touch on worldly things. Don't let them get a grip on your life.  Don't let them begin to rule and control you.

Paul gives the reason for such living, "For the fashion of this world is passing away." We place our values on eternal things. David in the psalms wrote, "If riches increase, set not your heart on them." – Psalm 62:10

Note how quickly the fashions of the world change, this is designed by the men of the world to keep your Visa Card at it's limits. Paul declared that his purpose was to free them from the cares of this world. The more you have of the world, the more you are burdened with the cares of the world.

Jesus said that the cares of this life were one of the things that would cause you to be unprepared for His return. Luke 21:34. He also said that the cares and pleasures of this life would choke out your fruitfulness for Him. A wise man will have a greater care and concern for the thing that are eternal, than for the things that are of this world.

O most loving Father, You want us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except loving You and to lay all our cares on You, knowing that You care for us. Strengthen us and grant that the fears and anxieties of this mortal life may not separate us from Your love shown to us in Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.[1]

[1] A Collect in anxious times, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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