Psalm of Praise: Psalms 103:8-10
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Until the Breydon Bridge was built in 1985 there was only one road crossing the River Yare at Great Yarmouth, and that was over the Haven Bridge. There were many ways to get to the Haven Bridge, and many roads you could take when you crossed it but, before 1985, it would be foolish to try to cross the river anywhere else.
The Christian faith teaches us that there is only one way to God, and that is through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. There are, though, many ways to Jesus. Sometimes through our upbringing, sometimes through searching, sometimes through life’s circumstances
I wonder what it was that brought you to a place of faith in God. Maybe it was a specific event in your life, or maybe it followed a reasoned discussion with a Christian family member or friend.
For each of us our journey will be different, but whatever route we have taken to God it will, at some point, have passed through the death and resurrection of Jesus. And that, to many people, is foolishness.
St Paul characterises two other roads that people try to take in order to find God: one road looks for proof through miracles, as epitomised by the Jews: the other road seeks to get there by reasoned debate, as epitomised by the Greeks. The reality is that these roads will only reach God if they pass though the person of Jesus.
And that, Paul says, is a stumbling block to the Jews, for salvation could never be found through a messiah cursed by death on a cross. And it is foolishness to the Greeks who believed they could earn their way to God through intellectual debate and good works.
Unlike Great Yarmouth Borough Council, who are now building a third river crossing to alleviate congestion, God has no plans to build alternative bridges to enable us to reach him. And so, as Christians we continue to preach Christ crucified, the wisdom of God, however foolish we might feel, or however foolish God might seem.
Almighty God, as you were prepared to appear foolish in order to rescue me,
give me the grace to appear foolish to the world as I seek to serve you.
In Christ alone