Archive for August, 2020

Getting ready for the Lords table.

August 31, 2020

8/31/2020

Getting ready for the Lords table.

17 But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. 20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, 21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you. 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 I think we need to remember that Corinth is in Greece and when Greeks  get together even today it can be a very lively time.   Obviously St Paul wasn’t into these Syposiums in which wine, food and discussions could flood out. The problems with these symposiums was that they got out of hand (order) and there were the poor who couldn’t even afford a lor of food.   He gives them a telling off and brings the Corinthians to a place of sober thinking.  Holy Communion, breaking of Bread is a time to focus on what is really important for the Christian believer.

A review on hair covering!

August 30, 2020

8/30/2020

2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God. 1 Corinthians 11:2-16

    It was customary for most women in the ancient Near East, Mesopotamia, and the Greco-Roman world to cover their hair when they went outside the home. In biblical times, women covered their heads with veils or scarves. The unveiling of a woman’s hair was considered a humiliation and punishment (Isa. 3:17; cf. Num. 5:18 on the loosening of the hair of a woman suspected of adultery; III Macc. 4:6; and Sus.

As I said the main reason for this section I believe is to get the Corinthians into some sort of order and not each one going their own way.   Women as well as men needed to be reminded that order is important in the Church.  He is being a good pastor and explaining the theology found in Genesis.  It is worth reading this from a Jewish site.

.https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/covering-of-the-head ‘ Women

Angels and head coverings

August 29, 2020

10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 1 Corinthians 11:10

This verse I think is a key to unpacking a lot of the discussion on hair.  First of all I don’t think hair per se is what Paul is getting at but order in the Church.  This verse however brings in angels to the mix.  Although angels are created like we are yet they stand in the presence of God.  When the church worships, the angels worship too.  Yes I am saying angels are present so there is a propriety. How this works out I am not completely certain; More research is needed.

Head Covering; Yes or No!

August 28, 2020

8/28/2020

4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 1 Corinthians 11:4-10 NASB

So let us not forget that Paul is following the order found in Genesis.  Christ is the head of Man and Man is the head of woman.  I don’t understand why he says this and in todays world it can sound a little strange. I’m sure that feminists would have a great time to say that Paul was putting women’s rights down somehow.  If one takes this view, it is anachronistic.  Remember that this text was written in the 1st Century AD.  Anyhow he doesn’t actualy here place it as a command.  Mirror reading the text seems to point it to being as accepted tradition of the time.

With God there is order in the universe and the church!

August 27, 2020

27th August

Verse 3

There is a ‘but’ in this verse and then he goes into the order of what is first to last… This does not mean that women are less important.  I think a lot of feminists would disagree. 

Order;

Christ is the head of man

Man is the head of woman

God is the head of Christ

We have a tryptic here and I also think it follows the Genesis creation story.  In the story we also find angels who had fallen and perhaps we will look at this when we get to it in verse 10. 

Somethings are never easy to understand!

August 26, 2020

26th August 2020

This next passage is not an easy passage to understand but remember that Paul has a context and he is a man that is steeped in Old Testament knowledge and he was taught by one of the top Rabbis of the day.  Obviously if we read this passage carefully, we can assume that women had their heads covered in the Church as a sign of respect.   However, if we read this more carefully, we do not see any commands in this text.  Though Pauls point of view is that a woman should have her head covered. I’m not going to make any final judgement on this but let us try to get to know what Paul is talking about

2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13  Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God. 1 Corinthians 11:2-16

Verse 2

So he is really encouraged that the Corinthians are keeping firm with the traditions

Let us follow the Christ like characteristics of Paul. Like us Paul was not perfect.

August 25, 2020

25th August 2020

1  Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 NASB

The people in Corinth must have really loved Paul.  After dealing with some very serious issues, he says to the Corinthians to imitate him.  Remember though he says, ‘as he is of Christ’. In other words, as he imitates Christ so we should imitate him.  Obviously, Paul died 2000 years ago but his life is captured in the Holy Scriptures.  He wasn’t perfect, he could lose his temper at times and there is evidence for this, yet at the same time he would be the first one there to help you if you were in trouble.  Figuratively he would give you the shirt on his back.  How many pastors would do that for their congregation? 

1 Corinthians 10 reflection Questions

August 24, 2020

24th August

  1. What can we learn from ancient Israel’s mistakes?
  2. Why should we love our neighbour?
  3. Do you think that the world is too materialistic?
  4. From your point of view; What is love? Don’t cheat by reading 1 Corinthians 13.  We will cover that chapter in the future.

So where does our moral compass lie…

August 23, 2020

23rd August 2020

St Paul in chapter 10 gives us some teachings that will help us out.  No persons in a lone island and we need to always consider our neighbour, our brothers, sisters in the faith and those outside of our immediate family.  Paul reminds us that Israel made serious mistakes, but we are not any different to them… We will also make mistakes but at least we can take heed of the warnings. 

He goes on to say that we will all face trials and temptations but there is always a way of escape.  I added to this that we should be in regular prayer, so we are where God wants us to be.  He speaks about food being sacrificed to demons.  I say that although the world has changed, we still have demons who have changed form, popular demoniac activities can be a serious form of hedonism and the worship of materialism. 

He goes onto say that although something is legal it is not always right to do it for the sake of brother, sister, neighbour etc.

If something is legal, does it always make it right? 1 Corinthians chapter 10,23-28

August 22, 2020

22nd August 2020

Many things happen in law but that does not mean it is moral.  I’m sure Hitler passed many laws that led to the death of a lot of innocent people.  In  business some business people might decide to take a short cut to make money.   Paul here is speaking about the Church but maybe  we need to be reminded about walking down the narrow road and not try to take short cuts at other peoples expences.


23  All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. 25  Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; 26  FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS. 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32  Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:6-33

So, we spoke about demons and yes in Corinth many people worshipped many different gods thus the meat in the marketplace was most probably sacrificed to some god or other.   We need to be mindful of the needs of our brothers and sisters that if something we eat or do causes problems then maybe we shouldn’t do it out of love (see 1 cor 13).