Know Nothings…

I am not currently studying much of anything other than guilty looks on my children’s faces, but this Lenten reflection from the Princeton Theological Seminary struck home for me. I have a tendency to view faith, and really most of life, through my head. That’s not necessarily bad, but it’s not enough, because so often it leads to lots of thinking, and not a lot of doing and living. So if you are like me, you might appreciate this one, even if you aren’t seeking your MDiv.

I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom…I resolved to know nothing… except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

— 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 (NIV)

To know nothing but Christ

Paul’s words sometimes strike a discordant note in our academic context. It was our overachieving resumes and our carefully worded essays that got us into Princeton Seminary, and now we’re here, studying to become both wise and eloquent. After all, we need rhetorical skills to preach persuasively. We need wisdom to share with the suffering parishioner, with students in the classroom. And of course, we have to know the answers for our ordination exams in order to become a preacher of the Gospel. All too often, our pastoral identity is defined by our intellectual achievements.

Yet, scripture calls us to be silent, to use our words not to impress but to build up, to preach the message of the cross simply and faithfully. Yes, we have exams to take and ministry to do, but, beloved, Christ calls you simply to know Him.

In this time of fasting, can we refrain from seeking affirmation and allow ourselves to be nourished by Christ? In this season of repentance, can we leave behind our search for wisdom and eloquence, our desire for success, and our fear of inadequacy to find in Christ all we need?

hear the Gospel:
Christ is enough.

Lauren Calvin Cooke
MDiv Middler

Follow the PTS devotions here: http://lent2016.ptsem.edu/

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