“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.” 1 Corinthians 3:10
As most people know, in order to build a structurally sound house, one must begin working from the ground up. To build on top of the soil, you have to dig down into it and lay strong foundational support that will bear the weight of what you plan to build above the surface. No matter the strength of your building materials, if the foundation isn’t sure and strong, it will buckle under the weight and the building will collapse. This is not only true of buildings; it can also be said about the life and fellowship of the church.
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes to a young church which is still in the developmental stages. Paul himself brought them the gospel, taught them about God’s grace through Christ Jesus and laid a foundation built upon the truth of God’s salvation through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Paul taught the new Christian converts the basics of faith and how to live in community with one another as God’s precious children. It wasn’t long after Paul left Corinth, however, that conflict emerged. Paul writes to the Church in order that he might remind them of what is truly important, the foundational teaching of grace through Christ crucified and risen.
The conflicts in first century Corinth are much the same as some issues surrounding the Church today. Even the most faithful Christians sometimes disagree and conflicts arise. Yet, as we continue to live and worship together in Christ, we do so building our community on the strong foundation of the truth concerning our Lord Jesus crucified and risen. As the community is set upon such a firm foundation, we continue building with the durable materials of faith; Holy Scripture, daily prayer, regular worship and frequent celebration of Holy Communion. And even in those times when we stumble and fall, it is the sure foundation of faith in Christ which bears us up.
Almighty God, we thank you for your peace, hope and love which come through Christ. Help us always to build our lives and community upon him so that even as we are weakened by sin, we might stand on the firm foundation of your grace which comes through Christ our Lord. Amen.