We are studying 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 for Sunday, February 28, along with the story of Lydia from Acts 16. [Some notes on the 1 Corinthians text are here.] Here are some questions related to the 1 Corinthians text we might want to explore:
In v26, Paul tells the Corinthians to consider their own call. If we were to do that, what would we notice? What shape has our own “call” taken, and how has that involved wisdom, or strength of any kind, or social position, or not involved those things? Would our own experience support Paul’s argument here, do we think? Why, or why not?
[Not a trick question.] When Paul says that wisdom, strength, and “things that are” will be shamed and reduced to nothing, do we think he means all of those things, or only some of them? Why do we think that?
Do any kinds of wisdom, strength, and “things that are” seem likely to us to remain valuable? Which ones? What are our grounds for thinking that? Which wisdom, strength, and “things that are” do we think Paul is talking about? What are our grounds for thinking that?
Do we ourselves value any kinds of wisdom, strength, and “things that are”? Which ones? Which wisdom, strength, and “things that are” do we feel we’ve renounced or never had in the first place? How does all that fit with what we think Paul is talking about?
Does our sense of what is valuable in life seem to influence our reading of this text in any way? How?
[Possibly contentious] If we think about “the church” these days, do we think it is more on the side of the wise, the strong, and the things that are, or on the side of the foolish, the weak, and the things that are not? Or, is it a mix of those? Why do we think that?
Does that call for any response from us? What response, do we think? Why?
[Also possibly contentious] What does this text have to do with gender, or with women in ministry, or with women in the New Testament, do we think? Why do we think that?
Image: “Reading,” Aleksandr Moravov, Belarusian National Arts Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons