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My Pastor in Illinois, Wray Offermann, often used the phrase, “God never wastes a hurt.” That short phrase captures the sentiments of 2 Corinthians 1:3-11. God does not want us to suffer; He does not cause our suffering. But God understands our suffering. He works in it to comfort us…and through it to comfort others. Wayne and Nancy Lippert have experienced great suffering. They share some of God’s work in their lives, and His comfort, with us.
We live in a world that is broken by sin. It doesn’t take long to see how sin has had negative effects on creation. On a regular basis, we experienced broken relationships, broken lives and broken bodies. All that is broken will one day be restored. The good news is that Jesus has already given us the victory.
The sells seashells by the seashore. Can you say it ten times really fast without messing up? If so, congratulations! But what good does that do? Can you encourage someone else through it? Can you express love to others with the recitation? In our section from 1 Corinthians this week we discover many gifts and abilities. The key is that we use them in love to build others up.
Every aspect of the Christian life gives honor and glory to God. Our mourning, our celebrations, our work and our friendships. Everything that we do can and should bring glory to God!
Are you a fan or fanatic? Fans typically go to a game and cheer, but don’t actually play in the game. Someone who is fanatic about the sport usually participates in that sport, training and devoting himself or herself to be the best. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul makes it clear he is much more than a fan of Jesus. Rather, he pushes himself to the limit as he follows Jesus and carries out the mission of Jesus.
Paul argues in circles: It is better to be single, but marriage is a blessing and it’s fine if people want to get married. But if a person can stay single, he or she should. What?! What are we supposed to do with that? And how does that apply to the spectrum of beliefs and expressions of human relationships today? As people who belong to God, who have the Holy Spirit in us, we look to God to show us what His plan is for people to experience God’s best.
Do you want to open a can of worms? Then bring up the topic of sex. Sexual freedom. LGBTQ+. Gender identity. Uncomfortable yet? How are we, as followers of Jesus, supposed to think about these things, much less live in our culture today? It all starts with knowing what we are worth and who gives us that value.
One of the most important parts of a structure is the foundation. If the foundation is not solid, the rest of the structure will be weak. Paul addresses the church in Corinth reminding them that the foundation of faith is not built by human hands, but rather God's hands.
This weekend we begin our summer sermon series on 1st and 2nd Corinthians. Just glancing through the books of 1st and 2nd Corinthians, you quickly realize the people of Corinth are not so different than we are. They dealt with the same temptations, the same conflicts, the same messed up beliefs. Addressing the congregation, Paul starts and ends with Jesus, with the message of the cross and the victory of the resurrection. As we begin our summer break, that’s where we begin as well.
Brookfield Lutheran Church
18500 W. Burleigh Rd.
Brookfield, WI 53045
Office: (262) 783-4270
Fax: (262) 783-4616
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