“And so, brothers and sisters, I
could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of
the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food,
for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not
ready, for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is
jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and
behaving according to human inclinations? For when one says, “I
belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,”
are you not merely human?
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each.” (I Corinthians 3:1 – 5)
I am thinking back to yesterday’s Old Testament passage, and the instruction to follow the commandments of the Lord God to be assured a good life in the new land, and to retain ownership and privilege of the land, and the blessing of the Divine. And I am wondering, were the Israelites that stood before Moses “infants” in the Lord God? Remember these are the people (or the next generation) who were brought out of Egypt. The faith that their forebearers such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph & his brothers was the stuff of story and legend. Paul refers to it in some of his other letters.
suspect that Paul has the correct assessment, that beginning faith is
not likely result in steadfast devotion. It takes time and testing to
know if faith is ingrained deeply or just on the surface. And if it
will be transmitted from generation to generation with the
determination to sustain belief.
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (Verses 6 – 9)
I am also thinking back to my question – what the coming of the Messiah meant for that faith that started (or re-started) with Moses. I think Paul, keeping in mind what happened to the Israelites/Hebrews as they progressed to the Jews, is slowing the pace and keeping things simple. I seem to remember Paul also saying he brought a simple message and did not speak of deep or complex theology – the sort of message one would deliver to “infants” or “children”.
Lastly, I think of myself as I grew in faith; from the simple lessons of Sunday School and Bible School to the lessons in seminary. And how it took time and maturation for me to understand the potential breadth and depth of Christian faith. And that I am still learning. I leave you with these thoughts, beloved reader, and Shalom.