How many times do you have to hear something to believe it? How many times do you have to hear something in order to turn it into practice? I am better at some things than others in this regard. I seem to remember when bills are due to be paid because I don’t want to suffer the consequences of not remembering. But I’m not very good at remembering to pray. And I’m not much better at remembering my baptismal covenant.
In today’s reading, Paul is reminding the Corinthians of the basic gospel: That Christ died for our sins and was raised in three days. He did this, through grace, for every person – even the sinners like Saul, the person Paul was before he converted.
Throughout 1 Corinthians, Paul is giving specific instruction to the new church on how to create this new community in Christ, something which had never been done before. These new Christians were likely somewhat outcasts already and not just a little revolutionary in their thinking. It may have even been easy to get them all fired up about leaving behind those old Jewish rules and laws. But, those instructions are not what Paul’s mission was about. It was about spreading the basic gospel which is repeated in these verses.
It’s one thing to hear this reminder. But I find if I say “Christ died for me” a few times, the true meaning comes to me like a lightening bolt. When I allow those words to sink down into my core, that’s when I start to feel Jesus’ presence in my heart. So, I commend to you today (and every day, for that matter) to remind yourself of the basic gospel. Say it several times, slowly. Allow its meaning to reach into your soul. As it has done for me, it will give you peace. Not a bad way to start your day.