Where is the one who is wise?
Norwich vicar Rev Philip Young looks at 1 Corinthians 1 v 20 and the consequences of making wise choices.
It is only through wise choices that we progress as a human race. The choices that are before us at this point in our history are momentous. We need all the wisdom at our disposal to bring healing to our wounded planet and unity between the divided peoples of the earth.
The planet is at crisis point. It is the height of human folly to be spending so much time, energy and money on making war or preparations for warfare. The wise person realises that all of us are brothers and sisters on a shared planet. We are all connected to one another. If the planet dies then we all perish together. If we can sustain life on earth, then all of us have a chance of living together and sharing the beauty that surrounds and sustains us.
To follow the way of Jesus is not just a religious ideal, but can provide us with the practical key on how to survive well. To life selfishly without regard for others, or for the life around us, is to court disaster. If all of us choose to continue to live consuming the earth’s resources at the alarming rates of the average person in the United States or Europe then the finite world cannot possibly support us far into the future.
We need the mind of Christ at this point of our history more than ever before.
The mind of Christ is to look not to our own interests but to the interests of others. This makes sound practical sense, because all our lives are bound up together, and by looking after others, we are in fact looking after our own survival. Perhaps God is trying to teach us a lesson, which is that we have to look at the world as One World and to treat one another as brothers and sisters.
The impracticality of war is becoming starker, and will become more so very soon, because we shall view it as diverting resources away from what is really important. The need right now is to love one another and to love our planet and to pour all our energy into the healing of our Nations and the taking care of our environment.
Paul in Corinthians talks about the folly of the cross. The cross and crucifixion of Jesus is seen as something undesirable and stupid to those in the world who are selfish and looking after their own interests. How can self-sacrifice and offering oneself up to death possibly be seen as desirable, wise, or sensible behaviour? We are still very much into looking after number one. The cross is still folly to many in the world.
And yet the cross shows the ultimate wisdom of God.
Jesus himself says that unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it cannot bear fruit. By giving himself completely to others Jesus brings life to all. His act of complete self-giving to others is the source of new life and resurrection.
It is in giving that we receive. We need wise and brave human beings to follow the way of Christ. If we all make the wise choice to live for others, then we too can help save the planet.
With love in our hearts let’s love one another as Jesus loves us.