The other day, I was again reading 1 Corinthians1, verses that we have often rejoiced in at OTCC
v.26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
But I have a confession to make – especially when younger, there’s a little bit of me that has been desperate not to appear a fool in front of others; that has wanted to seem able, competent, clever; that has wanted to look good, as though I’ve arrived; to be not only liked, but admired and respected. And so I don’t think I’ve honestly appropriated the fullness of this Kingdom principle. (Or alternately, have swung to the opposite extreme, and rubbished and debased myself so much that I’ve closed myself off from this wonderfully liberating truth, instead of following St.Patrick’s insistence that we should “embrace the leper of our own unloveliness”.)
And then, I suddenly realised that this old age I live in now, with its failing mental and physical abilities, is in fact a gift, that helps and enables me to identity with and embrace the foolishness and weakness this world despises and marginalises, and so enter gladly into the upside-down Kingdom of God. That they are a qualification, strange as it seems, to have been CHOSEN by Him! How very opposite to the world that chooses the influential, the privileged, “the brightest and the best”, the feted, the moneyed, the titled, and those that boast in their achievements. Instead, as the Message says Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”?
How my heart boasts in You, Lord Jesus, and my soul rejoices that you are so contrary to the standards and messages of this sad culture!