SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
Today we are flashing back to a much earlier part of the Bible, to the story of Moses and how he obtained the release of the Jews from enslavement to the Egyptians, how he had led them across the Red Sea when God opened the waters for them, how he had travelled with them for many years through the deserts, and how at Mount Sinai he had received the Commandments from God. Now they are camped in the east side of the River Jordan, looking across to the land which God had promised would be theirs (today Israel and Palestine) It is a land they must fight for. From the mountains they can see Jericho, the first city they must conquer. An old Moses has reached the age of a hundred and twenty. In a few minutes he will set off to climb to the top of Mount Nebo so that he can see the promised land; then he will give the leadership to Joshua and will die. In the part of the story read to us today, he hear some of Moses‘s parting words to the people. He has given them a code of laws which they must obey. If they obey the law and walk the ways of God, they will be multiply and flourish; if not they will fail and eventually die. They have a choice of life or death.
First Corinthians 3:1-9
Paul sometimes puzzles me. At times his letters contain sophisticated theology, as we heard last week in his discussion of the Holy Spirit. But in today’s reading from the same letter, he addresses a group of people so new to Christianity that there is no point in talking of such concepts. They are babes, not yet ready for solid food. Their quarrels about their leaders,Paul and Apollo, bespeak their human “flesh,” that is, their uncontrolled appetites and impulses. But Paul is confident they will grow in spirituality under the guidance of their leaders. They are God’s “field” or his “building.”
© Arthur H. Cash