Tuesday, December 6, 2011

“I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.” 1 Corinthians 7.6

New Testament Challenge – Day 22
1 Corinthians 1-11

Saint Paul had a great deal of compassion for the Church as is clear in these words from today’s readings. Today’s readings are a blessing for our Christmas journey because they remind us that while we may have come to Christ in a broken condition – we are all broken – that doesn’t mean we should expect to remain in that broken condition.

While he was very compassionate Saint Paul was also very strict using words such as, “deliver such a one to Satan,” and “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Corinthians 5.5,13) Saint Paul had very little tolerance for those who refused to even try to live the Christian life which he expressed when he made a distinction between believers and non-believers.

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such a person.

If we are going to take our Christianity seriously it is time we start to live it and stop taking advantage of the concession we received when we were still broken – either as children or adults. This Christmas Fasting (Advent) is a perfect opportunity for us to move forward in our faith journey and grow even closer to Jesus Christ. It is a time for increased prayer, increased fasting, increased charity, and Holy Communion and Holy Confession. Call your local priest today and schedule an appointment to get back on track with your journey toward Christ. And prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ in the Flesh a new creation.

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